Depressed alcoholic told to start drinking again by GP eight days before he killed himself


Dr Patel told the inquest that he was following advice from Turning Point, an addiction service based in Slough, which he then passed on to his patient.

Mr Appleton, who lived with his partner Sandra Smith and his daughter, worked in investments in the City of London for 15 years before he was made redundant in 2009.

He then began counselling people who were going through bankruptcy.

Mr Appleton began drinking in 2016 and was having six pints of strong lager every day when he sought professional help, the inquest heard.

Ms Smith said that he had gone cold turkey for a few days when he went to see Dr Patel.

She said she was shocked that the doctor had told him to take up drinking again, and that night he downed two bottles of wine.

Ms Smith told the inquest: “On 4 April Stephen and I went to see Dr Patel. Stephen said he had been abstaining from alcohol for days. He was feeling optimistic. I was hopeful we could finally get some help.

“However, when we saw Dr Patel, he told Stephen that stopping drinking alcohol immediately was dangerous and could cause a seizure.

“He told Stephen to start drinking again. I was shocked and could not believe it. Dr Patel said to taper off slowly in a controlled way. How could I control the drinking of a man who drank in secret?”


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