‘Devoted’ Hayes dad-of-three took his own life after accessing drugs at care home

A senior carer took his own life using drugs accessed while working at a West London care home, an inquest heard.

Kumbulani Mtombeni, a father-of-three, was found dead at his home address in Hayes on January 25 earlier this year.

He worked as a senior carer at Grassy Meadow Care Centre in Uxbridge Road, Hayes, and had responsibility for prescribed medications on occasion.

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An inquest into his death concluded at West London Magistrates’ Court in Fulham with a verdict of suicide.

However, Area Coroner Lydia Brown has penned a Prevention of Future Deaths report, addressed to the care centre, highlighting concerns over how Kumbulani was able to access patient prescriptions.

An inquest earlier heard how Kumbulani’s actions and final indications “indicated that he intended to take his own life”.

A “very high level” of methadone, a drug that was not prescribed to him, was found in his system after his death.

West London Coroner’s Court, Fulham

The methadone, though, was in the name of a former resident at the care home who died the summer prior to Kumbulani’s death.

The coroner said: “During the course of the inquest the evidence revealed matters giving rise to concern. In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken.

“In the deceased’s possession was a [redacted] of methadone in the name of [redacted]. Evidence was given at inquest that Mr [redacted] was one of your residents until he died last summer.

“Mr Mtombeni was a member of your staff and at times had worked as a senior carer and had responsibility for and access to the residents’ prescribed medications.

“Can you explain how the methadone was in Mr Mtombeni’s possession? Were any audits performed that demonstrated missing medication and if so, what actions were taken? What actions will now be taken in the light of the findings at inquest?”

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A fundraising page was created following Kumbulani’s death with the aim of helping his family with the costs of his funeral, which included reuniting his body with his family back in Zimbabwe, where the funeral was due to take place.

A tribute described him as a “devoted father” who will “always be remembered for his generosity”.

It added: “Kumbulani Mtombeni was a hard-working father-of-three from Hillingdon, West London. He departed back to his creator in the early hours of January 25, 2021. He was a devoted father to his three beautiful children.

“We have started a fund to help his family with the cost of his funeral which includes reuniting his body with his family back in Zimbabwe where he will be laid to rest. Whilst we understand things are tough at present, we ask you to reach within and support his young family. He leaves behind a daughter, 21, and two sons, 10 and two.

“Kumbulani will always be remembered for his generosity and putting other people’s needs before his own and going the extra mile for his friends and family.”

My London has contacted the Care Quality Commission and Hillingdon Council for comment.

If you knew Kumbulani and would like to contribute to a tribute article in his memory, please contact [email protected].

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