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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Tragic engineer 'suffered from anxiety for years', inquest told

A retired gas engineer, whose body was found in a river, suffered from anxiety for a number of years before his death.

Allan Atkinson photo
Allan Atkinson

The body of Allan Atkinson, 60, from Etterby, Carlisle, was found on January 24 after he had been missing for more than two weeks.

An inquest into his death heard how Mr Atkinson’s anxiety problems had worsened in September 2010 after he complained of health issues, including chest problems. He had previously told doctors that business and “money worries” were also contributing to his anxiety.

Mr Atkinson had spent some time in Carleton Clinic, prior to his death and was in a unit there on the day of his disappearance, January 7.

At the inquest his wife Lynne and brothers Andrew and Ian raised concerns about the standard of medical care delivered by his general practice, which they say worsened his mental state.

They claim that after a visit to one of his GPs with chest problems Mr Atkinson was left fearing he would die after the doctor identified pleural plaques on his lungs, a condition linked with asbestosis, and allegedly refused to reassure him.

Mrs Atkinson added that due to these fears her husband was “arranging his own funeral”.

The GP, Dr Mark Sixsmith, said he had no recollection of such a refusal but did remember Mr Atkinson having an abnormal x-ray.

He added: “Unfortunately I did what I felt was appropriate and referred him to the specialist.”

Coroner David Roberts also heard how Mr Atkinson had high levels of medication in his system at the time of his post mortem.

However, toxicologist Dr Paul Smith said that although levels were high these were unlikely to have been caused by an overdose.

His analysis showed that it was more likely to have been caused by the redistribution of drugs in the body after death.

The inquest continues.

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