LESSONS can be learned on dealing with mental health patients and their families, an inquest has heard.

Nigel Greenslade, 41, of Old Town, who was schizophrenic, died in July 2004 after taking a coproxamol overdose.

His family had told the mental health service team their concerns, but because Mr Greenslade told the team he was fine, and he appeared to be well, no action was taken.

Yesterday, recording an open verdict, Wiltshire coroner David Masters said that more should be done to take into account the worries of families who see the patient every day.

Mr Greenslade was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1988.

At a previous hearing the court had heard how, after mental health nurse Danny Bundhaloo's retirement in 2002, Mr Greenslade had fallen out of the mental health system.

It was his sister, Sally Greenslade, who encouraged him to go back under the care of the mental health service team in June 2003.

He was put on a course of medication to control the illness and was visited regularly by a community nurse to be assessed.

Between June 2003 and his death Mr Greenslade took three further overdoses.

And he was being regularly assessed.

But Miss Greenslade said he kept threatening to commit suicide and she did not feel her concerns were being looked into.

"I put so much work into looking after him but they let me down when I asked for help," she said.

"The overdoses were a cry for help."

Mr Greenslade was found dead on the floor at his home by Miss Greenslade.

Police found six empty tablet foils in the bin, each of which held 10 tablets.

When asked whether she thought her brother knew what he was doing when he took the tablets, another sister, Judy Greenslade, said: "When he took those tablets he was not the person I knew any more.

"I have no idea whether he knew what he was doing or not."

And she said the family was angry that nobody had taken their concerns on board.

"If you don't listen to what the family is telling you then this is going to happen more often," she said.

Recording his verdict, Mr Masters said: "I think both sides need to get together more.

"There should be more relevance on what the family can tell them about the character and conduct of patients like Mr Greenslade.

"I think what they have to say can be very reliable."