A doctor who allowed a man to leave Carseview days before he took his own life said it would have been “heavy-handed” to use her powers to keep him there.
Dale Thomson, 28, was first admitted to the mental health centre on January 8 2015, but left voluntarily on January 10.
He was brought back to Carseview just hours later by police after he threatened to blow up his flat using the gas supply.
He was re-assessed by Dr Jennifer Kao, 28, that night but she didn’t feel he was showing signs of mental disorder.
The medic, who stopped working at Carseview days after the father-of-one’s death on January 27 2015, gave evidence at a fatal accident inquiry at Dundee Sheriff Court.
Dr Kao, who is now a GP, assessed Dale on January 10 at about 10.45pm and she described him as being “hostile and uncooperative”. Dale stormed out of the meeting but Dr Kao said she didn’t feel it would have been appropriate to use the Mental Health Act to detain him at the centre.
Fiscal depute Steven Quither asked Dr Kao how she felt when she read criticisms of his care in a Significant Clinical Event Analysis later produced by the NHS.
She said: “I was upset. With all due respect to the panel, they didn’t see the person in front of them.
“I think it is much clearer when you see the patient.
“I don’t think I could have persuaded Mr Thomson to stay at that juncture. He didn’t offer any indication that he wanted to be re-admitted.
“If those circumstances were different, I might have made a different decision. I think it’s heavy-handed that just because he didn’t want to stay that I should have detained him.
“I didn’t feel he had a mental disorder. He appeared to retain his capacity to make decisions.”
Mr Quither said: “Making those threats about blowing up houses, did you not think, ‘I have to keep him in here?’”
Dr Kao replied: “No.” The fiscal depute later asked: “Looking back, would you have done anything differently?”
Dr Kao said: “I really regret what happened to Mr Thomson and what his family have had to go through, but based on the information I had and the way he was presenting on the day, I don’t think I could have come to a different conclusion to the one I did.”