THE family of a suicidal man who was able to hang himself at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital said the health service has ‘failed him’ and left his son without a father.

James Hatch was left alone in a waiting room for an hour despite telling hospital staff of his intentions to take his own life in June last year.

The 48-year-old was taken to the hospital’s Sunflower Room – described as one of the safest places in the hospital as it has no equipment or beds – but he hanged himself on the bell call cord.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust apologised to the family and said it recognised the need to review and improve its systems.

It added that staff in its emergency departments have a difficult role under ‘high pressure’.

Mr Hatch’s ex-wife Sarah Justice, the mother of his child, said the health service had ‘failed him’

Their 14-year-old son Kyle has autism, attention deficit disorder and a number of learning disabilities, and Ms Justice said she was ‘still struggling’ to explain to him what happened to his father.

She said: “My son has been left without a dad

“He went to the hospital to get help, he phoned the ambulance and admitted himself to the hospital.

“He needed to sort his life out, he wasn’t right in the head – but when he went for help, the hospital failed him.

“The thing that gets me is that it was the emergency cord – it should have sounded the alarm when pulled on.”

She added: “They should have been monitoring him - it was a massive failure.”

An inquest this week revealed that following his initial mental capacity assessment, Mr Hatch was deemed at risk if he left the hospital before a full assessment, but he was not deemed to need one-on-one supervision.

The inquest also heard staff were busy and did not observe him for more than an hour.

Ms Justice, who now lives in Henley, said: “The problem needs to be highlighted and addressed, they have hundreds of people coming in with mental health issues and they were too busy.

“I know there have been funding problems with the NHS but this can’t happen – not to someone so young.”

Following the inquest on Wednesday and Thursday the trust did apologise to his family.

Medical director Dr Tony Berendt said: “We are deeply sorry for what happened to Mr Hatch, and offer our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.

“We can reassure people using our emergency departments that we have carried out a thorough investigation into this very sad incident, and recognise the need to review and improve our systems and facilities to try and prevent situations such as this one happening again.

“Staff in our emergency departments perform a critical and difficult role under high pressure."

Coroner Darren Salter concluded Mr Hatch intended to commit suicide.