A woman who appeared to be distressed was spotted balancing precariously on a shop roof sparking a drama in Solihull town centre on Tuesday.
Thought to be in her twenties, the woman was picked up on CCTV at around 9.30am as she clambered over a balcony in Drury Lane on to a narrow ledge.
Police sealed off the immediate area and part of the High Street while shoppers looked on.
Chief Inspector Kevin Doyle was at the scene. He said: “The woman had mental health issues and had left Solihull Hospital where she was being treated.
“Although it’s not a huge height, she was seen to be taking pills with water and we didn’t know if she would fall asleep. We managed to talk her down and confirmed with the hospital it was paracetomol. We knocked on the doors of every shop affected and offered our thanks and appreciation. In a situation like this that person is the most important at the end of the day.”
A statement issued jointly by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are aware that a female patient, who was being treated on a medical ward at Solihull Hospital, absconded from the ward on Tuesday November 2 and was later found on a ledge above a shop in Mell Square Shopping Centre.
“The ward environment in Solihull Hospital presents challenges in an ever-changing modern society to ensure the provision of modern mental health care.
“We have been actively reviewing options to ensure a positive physical environment in inpatient care for the future.
“However, we are confident the services we currently provide, in the environment we currently work within, are safe and effective.
“Solihull Care Trust, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust will feed learning from any such incident, including this one, into our option appraisal as matter of agency.
“Obviously we cannot comment on individual cases and we have a duty to protect our patients’ confidentiality, but both trusts are conducting a thorough investigation into how this incident occurred.”