A medical negligent rail death of a woman who was the lead singer for an electro band went to see her general practitioner in April 2010, with complaints of mood swings and depression. She had been prescribed antidepressants two years prior to that visit to help with her depression.
However, two weeks before she saw her doctor, she tried on two attempts to take her own life. After the appointment, she made another attempt on her life and was admitted to a hospital where a risk assessment was carried out. During a three week period of time, she made six more attempts on her life and was held under the Mental Health Act.
In early June 2010, the woman was being considered for unescorted leave and her mother became concerned as she had noted in her daughter’s journal that she had made entries for train timetables. She made her concerns known to a nurse but they were not passed on and the woman left the hospital on June 9th.
The woman was involved in a fatal collision with a high speed train shortly after leaving the hospital. She was only 21 years old.
The family then brought a claim of medical negligence against the trust which manages the hospital and just recently received an out-of-court settlement of five figures. According to the family’s lawyer which specialises in medical negligence cases, the monetary settlement has been made but there has been no apology from the trust. The family considers this as important as the funds and the lawyer cannot understand why the trust has not recognised this point.
The lawyer added that the matter was settled in November 2013 but it has taken all this time for the trust to write a letter of regret regarding the circumstances of the woman’s death and provide it to the family.
The woman’s parents have made several comments regarding the case. Although it has been four years since their daughter passed away, they still bear a great deal of pain and so feel the need to speak out about this tragedy to make others aware of what happened. They were never quite sure that putting their daughter in the hospital was right for her but they were assured it was for her own safety and for the best.
It was sad to be let down by the decision of the doctor to let their daughter have unescorted leave so soon. They had many doubts about it and now regret that they were allowed to be convinced that this also was the best for her. In retrospect, their daughter was not ready and it was the wrong decision, they added.
A spokeswoman for the trust commented that it extends its condolences to the family and has investigated the circumstances regarding the death of the woman. A number of changes have since been made with an emphasis to staff that notes about patients need to be fully completed and observation sheets filed correctly. A new clinical information system has also been introduced which provides for the staff more comprehensive and up-to-the minute details on each patient.