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Post Natal Depression case

14 November 2017

Blog, Clinical Negligence

Post Natal Depression

Our Client’s daughter was diagnosed with postnatal depression by a GP in October 2012 following the birth of her first child. The condition flared up following the arrival of her second child in 2014. She also suffered from hyperemeris gravidarum (HG) – an extreme form of morning sickness brought to the fore by the Duchess of Cambridge who suffered from the condition while expecting Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Our Client’s daughter died instantly on July 12, 2015 between the hours of 10:25 -10:30 when she was hit by the Hull to Scarborough train near Spring Bank West after telling staff at Westlands, in Anlaby Road, west Hull, where she was a voluntary inpatient, that she was going out to buy cigarettes.

Her daughter pleaded with bosses at Humber NHS Foundation Trust – responsible for the region’s mental health services – to allow her to be admitted to a mother and baby unit in Leeds. Westlands was not the right place for her, in the family’s opinion. She asked to be admitted to the specialist mother and baby unit, but her request were turned down.

Unfortunately, failings now identified through the Inquest process directly caused the untimely death and those failings have now been publically identified.

Wayne Walker, Solicitor at Williamsons, who is experienced with both the Inquest procedure and medical negligence, assisted the family through a 4 day inquest.

Wayne says “this case, as well as a number of cases before it, shows that improvements are needed for the provision of postnatal care, if future tragedies are to be prevented.

Although assurances have been given by the Trust on many occasions, the family were not convinced that if another individual presented tomorrow, she would receive better care although the Trust has made a numbers of changes which the family were made aware of during the inquest process. Only time will tell to determine whether those changes prevent future families experiencing the untimely passing of a loved one”.

The Coroner ruled that the inquest should be an ‘Article 2 inquest’. Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights protects everyone’s right to life. This means that the Inquest went further into the processes that were in place to protect a person’s right and to establish whether there are any failings.

The Coroner, in his narrative conclusion noted the decision to allow the deceased, to leave the unit “had a direct causal effect” on her death, and stated the clear policy of Humber NHS Foundation Trust at the time “had precluded patients on 15-minute observations” leaving unaccompanied.

Full story can be found here:

http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/polly-young-mum-who-known-767127

http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/inquest-death-new-mum-hit-749853

Anyone needing support to cope with postnatal depression can contact the Association for Post Natal Illnesses. Click here for more information or call 0207 3860868.


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