A DAD from Northwich died after stepping into the path of a lorry, hours before his hospital appointment with a psychiatric clinician, an inquest has heard.

Philip Nadolski, 61, of Harris Road, died from multiple injuries after being struck by a HGV on the A556 Northwich Bypass between Broken Cross and Lostock Gralam at around 8am on Tuesday, June 12, last year.

The retired tax officer had made two suicide threats in the weeks before his death and his family was becoming increasingly concerned about his deteriorating mental health, a coroner's court in Crewe heard on Wednesday.

Wife Ruth said that her husband had insomnia and was suffering from anxiety but his condition had worsened.

"He appeared to be on the edge all the time," she told the inquest.

He sought help himself, she said, from a psychiatric wellbeing service online but the access code to reach further counselling had not arrived until after the fatal collision.

Three days before Mr Nadolski died, his daughter took him to the accident and emergency department at Leighton Hospital, 48 hours after he had threatened to take his own life.

Psychiatric nurse Lorraine Byrne assessed him and a care plan was drawn up, with his consent, for a specialist home treatment team to visit him at home every day.

Community mental health nurse Joanne Lowery, who saw him with his family the following day, told the inquest that Mr Nadolski had been diagnosed with depression and psychosis and was on medication for acute anxiety.

"He was calm and wanted to engage with the team," she said. "He felt a sense of relief that he was getting some help. His family was very supportive. I felt that his intention to carry out suicide wasn't there when I saw him."

The next day, community mental health nurse Dee Hodge visited Mr Nadolski and informed him that an urgent hospital appointment had been made for him with a consultant the following day.

Hours later, dad-of-two Mr Nadolski became very distressed and wanted to drive off 'on holiday'.

Mrs Nadolski said: "His behaviour really changed. He became very agitated and would not listen or reason with us."

His family blocked his car in the drive, confiscated the keys and Mr Nadolski went to bed at 11pm. After consulting with the on-call crisis team, mental health professionals felt there was 'no imminent risk' and that his family could 'manage his behaviour' until his hospital appointment.

Mr Hodge added: "Mr Nadolski wasn't talking about killing himself, he was talking about escaping."

Mrs Nadolski said her husband got up at 6am the following day and went out for a newspaper at 7.30am.

Once she got dressed, she followed him and raised the alarm when she couldn't find him. An hour later, police informed her of the collision.

Lorry driver Angelo Lynch said he spotted a man on the footpath. He told the inquest: "He didn't look left or right, he just walked straight out. I slammed on the brakes. There was nothing I could have done to avoid him."

Forensic collision investigator Pc Peter Brachaniez, who carried out a reconstruction of the collision and examined witness statements and CCTV footage, said: "Mr Lynch couldn't have avoided the collision."

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) carried out an investigation following Mr Nadolski's death and recommended changes to certain mental health care procedures.

Author of the report Aoife Coyne said the trust will now inform the early intervention team in all cases of suspected psychosis as soon on a patient's first referral and better response times will be guaranteed in their wellbeing service.

A new computer system is also to be set up so mental health professionals can share patient information.

Heath Westerman, assistant coroner for Cheshire, pressed the trust to inform him as soon as possible of the dates the recommendations are being introduced.

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Concluding that Mr Nadolski had committed suicide, he said: "My sincere condolences to his family. I hope in time that you will be able to remember the man he was, not as he was in his final days."

Mrs Nadolski said her family has been left devastated. She said: "It was like a book that was never finished. Philip worked so hard all his life. He had so many plans for the future, now none of those plans will be finished.

"Philip was a good, caring, loving husband, a great father to his daughters and granddaughter and will be missed greatly.

"Over 200 people attended his funeral at St Wilfrid's Church which showed how popular he was."

A CWP spokesman said: “We would like to express our sincere condolences to the family. We have updated the coroner that following our own internal review, an action plan was produced and all actions have been implemented. Further work is now taking place to ensure that learning is shared across our services.”

The Samaritans’ helpline number is 116 123.