Coronation Street technician 'killed himself in lockdown struggle'

Coronation Street technician, 64, who spent more than three decades working on the soap killed himself after mental health struggle during lockdown, inquest hears

  • Glyn Pattison, 64, from Harwood, Bolton, was the head of grips for ITV Granada 
  • He had financial worries and suffered the death of his dog and a family member
  • Son Ross said his father looked like he aged 10 years during lockdown 
  • Anyone seeking help can call Samaritans free on 116 123 or visit Samaritans.org 

A Coronation Street production veteran killed himself just days after his ruby wedding anniversary after struggling to cope with lockdown, an inquest has heard.   

Glyn Pattison, 64, from Harwood, Bolton, was the head of grips for ITV Granada – a qualified technician role in camera equipment – and spent more than 30 years working on the soap.

An inquest into his death at Bolton Coroner’s Court on Tuesday heard that he had suffered a number of personal difficulties which had contributed towards a ‘increasingly low mood’ in the months leading up to his death on May 21, 2020.

Coronation Street production veteran Glyn Pattison (pictured) died from suicide just days after his ruby wedding anniversary after struggling to cope with lockdown, an inquest has heard

He died just ten days after his 64th birthday on May 11 and had just celebrated his ruby wedding anniversary with wife Cheryl, coroner Simon Nelson heard.

A keen caravaner, Mr Pattison had recently purchased a new motorhome but the start of the lockdown in March 2020 meant that it had been ‘static’ on his driveway.

Having been furloughed from his job during the lockdown, Mr Pattison was said to have had a series of financial concerns over the newly-purchased caravan.

He had also recently lost a beloved family member as well as his pet dog Oscar, who was described as being his ‘best mate’.

Mr Pattison’s son, Ross, told the inquest his father had no known history of mental health difficulties but he had started to notice a change in him in the months prior to his death.

‘When the lockdown hit, you could really notice a difference in the way he looked,’ Ross Pattison said.

‘You could tell there was a lot going on in his mind – he had lost a lot of weight and he looked like he had aged about ten years.

‘He thought the world was coming to an end because of the lockdown.

‘But he was still laughing and joking around. I remember we had a socially distanced meeting outside and I had brought him a corona beer as a joke.’

He had recently lost a beloved family member as well as his pet dog Oscar, who was described as being his ‘best mate’ (pictured together)

On May 18, 2020, Mr Pattison was rushed to Royal Bolton Hospital after a ‘serious attempt to end his life’.

During his time in hospital, he was assessed by clinician Dr Arun Kallat and Dr Razia Hussain, a representative for the hospital’s mental health team.

Upon his assessment at hospital, Dr Kallat told the Coroner’s Court that Mr Pattison demonstrated a low mood and was expressing concerns with regards to money and his motorhome.

Having initially been ‘reluctant’ to continue with medical treatment, Mr Pattison was eventually said to have become cooperative with staff about his care.

The next day, on May 19, Dr Razia Hussain had a ‘lengthy’ discussion with Mr Pattison about his mental health.

Dr Hussain reported Mr Pattison was ‘open and honest’ about his struggles but said he was fearful of ‘infection’ and getting coronavirus from hospital.

On May 20, Mr Pattison was discharged from hospital and taken back to his home.

Having spoken with family members and friends, including lifelong friend Mark Davies, Mr Pattison was reported to have said later that day that he had ‘told the doctors what they wanted to hear’ as part of a ‘tick box exercise’.

‘He said he had to pay the mental health team a lip service and tell them what they wanted to hear,’ Mr Davies told the inquest.

Dr Hussain said she did not get the same impression from Mr Pattison and that he had expressed ‘remorse’ for what he had done.

On May 18, 2020, Mr Pattison was rushed to Royal Bolton Hospital (file image) after a ‘serious attempt to end his life’.

Dr Kallat also checked in on Mr Pattison that day and said he felt he had ‘a change in character’ from when he was first admitted.

‘He was more positive, he was making eye contact and discussing the possibility of taking antidepressants,’ Dr Kallat said.

‘He was very different, he was talking about how his son’s wife was pregnant – he had something to look forward to.’

He told doctors the earlier incident was ‘spur of the moment’ and he was looking forward to seeing his wife again.

A day after Mr Pattison had been discharged, he was involved in a disagreement with his wife.

When she was later admitted to hospital Mr Pattison had been left alone at his house.

Friends and family members kept in touch with him as they attempted to find out what support he could receive during this time.

At around 6pm, friend Mark Davies attempted to visit Mr Pattison at home and could not get an answer on his mobile phone.

He later alerted his wife’s mother, who then reached out to other family members.

Upon entering the property, Mr Pattison was found unresponsive and without a pulse.

‘None of us felt he should have been left alone,’ Mr Davies said.

‘I don’t understand why, without consulting any of the family, he was discharged.

‘If he had a bit more time, he might have been able to get to grips with how he was feeling.’

Questioning Mr Pattison’s discharge from hospital, coroner Mr Nelson asked whether it was ‘standard procedure’ to discharge an individual with just a ‘phone number’ for support.

‘He was offered support but he said he didn’t need to speak to a psychiatrist, he would be okay after he had spoken with his wife,’ Dr Hussain said.

‘His mental health had changed, he felt remorse for what he had done and he had not raised any concerns with me.

‘He would not have been discharged had there been any doubts.’

When asked, with the matter of hindsight, if she would do anything differently, Dr Hussain said: ‘I would have provided more reassurance from the patient and the family as well to see if they have any different views.

‘I would now contact the family in every case if I had the permission from a patient to do so.’

Coroner Simon Nelson concluded that he felt Mr Pattison had been ‘appropriately discharged’ from hospital but agreed that ‘contact with one or more family members prior to his discharge may have altered the outcome’.

Mr Nelson said it was ‘difficult’ to pinpoint what had triggered his mental health difficulties, but that it had potentially been a combination of things.

His cause of death was concluded as ‘suicide while the balance of his mind was disturbed’.

No suspicious circumstances or third party involvement has been discovered by officers investigating the death.

Mr Pattison’s son said his dad was a ‘wonderful father, wonderful husband and a wonderful worker’.

‘He was highly respected and well-loved,’ Ross Pattison said.

‘He was never one to just sit around and do nothing which is why he never retired.

‘He was devoted to his job – it was a very big part of his life and work was very important to him.’

In concluding, coroner Simon Nelson addressed Mr Pattinson’s family to say: ‘I hope you, his family and his friends can reflect on Mr Pattinson’s tremendous qualities over many, many years and for the duration of your life.

‘He was industrious, he was beloved by those he worked with for decades, and he was a very fine character.’

Speaking after the inquest, son Ross added: ‘It’s been a really tough year for the family.

‘It was an unnecessary death and there were some failings from the mental health team.

‘We don’t want to get anyone in trouble but we want to prevent further deaths and make sure these things don’t happen again.’

  • Anyone seeking help can call Samaritans free on 116 123 or visit Samaritans.org    

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