THE family of man who hanged himself on Christmas Day have criticised a “broken and fragmented NHS system” which they say failed to help him.

Six years ago, Richard Clark’s wife gave birth to their daughter at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, which was said to be ‘traumatic’, with their birthing plan not followed.

In the years following his wife was diagnosed with postnatal psychosis, and in early 2019 Mr Clark decided to he needed support from mental health services and turned to the NHS.

But a referral was refused, and in the months following he sought support from the private sector, whilst still struggling to secure the right care for his Thai wife.

On December 25, last year, he was found hanging in the loft of his parents’ home in Fairfield Road, Shawford.

An inquest into his death at Winchester Coroner’s Court, was told that eight months before his death Mr Clark moved to a rented house in Bournemouth Road, Chandler’s Ford, in the hope that he would get support from a different mental health team.

In a statement, his parents Malcolm and Angela said: “He tried extremely hard to care for his wife. They failed to get enough treatment in Southampton, so he rented a house in Chandler’s Ford hoping to get treatment and again he said they were let down, so went to Thailand last October.”

After getting treatment for his wife in Thailand they came home but she deteriorated and was eventually admitted to Mulberry Lodge, in Winchester.

His brother-in-law Anthony Grieb-Young said: “As a family we pulled together but we’d be constantly struggling to get any tractions with GPs or mental health teams both at Southampton and Eastleigh and care institutions.

“When trying to help Richard we found dealing with the services available a constant disappointment. He spent a great deal of time finding private treatment, engaging their services for his wife, child and finally himself, exhausting every avenue.

“Thankfully he kept meticulous notes, chronicling his endeavours of a broken and fragmented NHS system he had to navigate.”

Mr Clark was getting support from Dr Lars Hansen, of the New Forest Psychiatric Practice, from January to December 2019.

Dr Hansen said that following the trip to Thailand the 45-year-old’s “demons of feeling guilty had flared up again”.

And on December 21 Mr Clark crashed his car on the M3, and also had with a troubled visit to his wife on Christmas Eve, which his parents have considered to be the “last straw”.

Mr Grieb-Young added: “We have been left with an inconsolable pain in our world, a feeling of remorse of many missed opportunities.

“He was beautiful man, quiet, considerate, thoughtful, a stark contrast to his actions of Christmas Day. A man clearly in my opinion gripped with grief and guilt of his perceived failings and his unsustainable family situation going forward.

“In fact Christmas Day was a culmination of the previous six and half years in which Richard desperately tried to get help for his wife after their daughter was born.”

Mrs Rhodes-Kemp concluded that Mr Clark’s death was as a result of suicide.

Dr Adam Cox, clinical director Southampton for Southern Health said: “

We are not aware of any concerns from the family of Mr Babington Clark, who was not receiving care from the Trust at the time of his death. However we encourage anyone who has concerns about any aspect of our services to get in touch with us, so we can address them. We will therefore be asking the coroner to ensure the family know how to contact us should they wish to.

“We did have some brief contact with the coroner about this case but no additional information was requested from us in advance of the inquest.

Julie Dawes, Hampshire Hospitals chief nurse: “We are deeply saddened to learn of Mr Clark’s death and our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time.

“Since his wife gave birth at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital six years ago the trust has been working to support the family both in terms of care and through our complaint process.

“We will continue to support the family in any way we can.”