THE parents of a young Bridgwater man who died after suffering mental health problems have said they are ‘seeking legal advice’ after a report highlighted failings in his care.

Reece Baker died on October 9, 2016 at the age of 23, leaving behind his daughter Elyse, loving parents, brother and close friends.

A Serious Incident Requiring Investigation (SIRI) report published by Somerset Partnership in February showed Mr Baker had never been offered a comprehensive psychiatric assessment and identified a number of failings in his care.

Now, parents Alan and Shelley Baker are seeking legal advice ahead of possible action against Somerset Partnership for their ‘blatant failings’ in the care of their son.

Speaking to the Mercury, Mr Baker said: “We have decided to take legal advice as we feel that Somerset Partnership have failed when caring for our son.

“Reece had a lot of complex problems, his relationship broke down and he lost his job and home in 2015 which really hit him hard.

“Reece continued his battle with life and attended his GP frequently and was admitted to hospital numerous times for further attempts on his life.

“During this time Reece’s only offer of care was the drug and alcohol service as Reece was using alcohol to self medicate, in the absence of any mental health care.

“When I first got the report and had a read I have to say I was angry, there were distinct failings in Reece’s care and the people who were involved need to be held to account.

“Since Reece’s death the Somerset Partnership NHS trust has completed a SIRI report in which the trust can be seen to have failed on seven counts of what could be deemed, as negligence.

“We have been in contact with a number of people from across the country as a result of our fundraisers who have lost relatives to suicide and we have all agreed that something needs to be done.

“My wife and I are both managerial professionals and believe that if we or any member of our teams were to fail, in the commission of their job then they would face disciplinary action or may be fired.”

The SIRI report conclusions included: “There was a lack of any identified professional to take responsibility for taking an overview of the pattern of Mr Baker’s increasing severity of self harm, suicide risk and possible mental health deterioration.

“A long waiting time for Somerset Partnership Talking Therapies work.

“A formal crisis plan was never drawn up with Reece Baker and his family to guide support and intervention during critical phases of care.

“There was a delay in contact being made with the family to explain the investigation procedure after Reece’s death.”

The trust also published a list of six recommendations as a result of the investigations in a bid to help mental health services across the county improve in the future.

A spokesman for Somerset Partnership said: “We send our condolences to the family and friends of Reece Baker.

“This young man’s death is now a matter for the coroner.

“We continue to work closely with the coroner’s office and will make sure any trust staff required as witnesses are made available as requested.

“Until the coroner has conducted his inquiry we are not able to comment further.”