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Plaistow surgery GP with history of depression ‘took own life’, inquest finds

11:45 29 August 2014

Walthamstow Coroner

Walthamstow Coroner's Court

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A GP and father-of-five with a history of depression took his own life, an inquest has heard.

Dr Petre Jones, 51, died from asphyxia, Walthamstow Coroner’s Court found.

The doctor, who had a passion for training others, was discovered by his colleague Dr Farzana Hussein at his home on November 14, 2013.

Dr Hussein – a co-partner with Dr Jones at The Projects surgery, Plaistow – went to check on him after he failed to show up for work.

“His car was outside so at that point I really thought there was something wrong,” she told the court.

“I’d thought that he’s had a heart attack, been attacked or that he’d committed suicide.”

Dr Hussein contacted the police and accompanied them into the house in Queenswood Gardens, Wanstead, where she found him lifeless on his bed.

During Thursday’s inquest, the court heard how on the previous day, Dr Hussein had suggested to her colleague that he should give-up his role as partner and work just as a GP because he was doing too much.

She said: “We were not just business partners, he was my best friend.

“So we had lots of conversations. He said he found it very difficult to delegate anything because he felt he was letting me and letting his patients down.”

Bethan Jones, one of Dr Jones’ five children, told the court that her father had suffered from bi-polar disorder and had been in hospital more than once.

“He was a kind person - he always wanted to try and help people,” she said.

“I think that was what persuaded him to become a doctor.

“He worked in Plaistow because he thought he could make the most difference there.”

She added: “As long as I can remember he’s had bi-polar disorder, and been in hospital for it several times.”

Following his death, Dr Jones’s brother Christopher Jones and other family members visited his home and found a suicide note, which coroner Nadia Peraud read out in court.

It said: “No one at fault. My choice. Mum, I think you always knew I would make this choice one day.”

Asked whether he knew of his brother’s work issues, Christopher Jones said: “He knew he was doing too much and Farzana was trying to get him to delegate and they had raised voices about it, because Petre was very difficult to get through to on this issue.”

He added: “It’s something I think we shared in that he found it very difficult not to feel responsible for everything that was going on around him.”

• If you are emotionally affected by any of this issues raised in this story, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day on 08457 90 90 90.

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