A lack of mental health training and inadequate systems are among the missed opportunities found by an inquest jury into the death of a Suffolk prisoner. 

Mohammed Sayeef Uddin was found in his cell at HMP Highpoint just after 6am on December 28, 2022, having used an item in his cell to take his own life.

The jury recorded a narrative conclusion but highlighted a number of factors that may have contributed to the 39-year-old's death.

This included the absence of a full mental health assessment; the long waiting list for services, with Mr Uddin being told that a referral for talking therapy would take several months; and a missed psychiatry appointment, which was cancelled due to a miscommunication.

Mr Uddin, 39, transferred to the Stradishall prison on November 1, 2022, to serve the remainder of his three-year sentence for drug offences.

The court heard that, although no mental health concerns were highlighted at Mr Uddin’s initial screening, he began to experience feelings of anxiety and thoughts of self-harm and suicide over the coming weeks.

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Mr Uddin expressed fears that others could hear his thoughts, which he believed were being played over the Tanoy system. For his final few weeks, Mr Uddin would remain in his cell, and would often have a blanket over his head.

As part of their conclusion, the jury said that “no mental health training for prison staff, that have an immediate duty of care” was given, and that there were “no health care cell visits, despite Mr Uddin’s anxieties over leaving his cell” and a lack of opportunity to explore medication.

In addition there was a “lack of continuity of care, including inadequate systems and procedures in place to ensure the effective flow of information and communication between and within sites”.

If you need urgent mental health support call NHS 111 and select option 2 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week.