Coroner criticises hospital trust over suicide risk admissions

AN NHS trust has been told to improve the way it accepts mental health patients after an aspiring actress was released from hospital and took her own life less than 24 hours after she was narrowly saved from a suicide attempt.

Senior coroner Nadia Persaud has written to the North East London Foundation Trust following at least two deaths where “important risk information” was not available to the mental health team.

The prevention of future death (PFD) report, released last week, comes after the inquest of Karis Braithwaite, 24, in September last year.

Ms Braithwaite made repeated suicide attempts before her death and suffered from depression and emotionally unstable personality disorder.

The day before she died on September 24, 2018 she was pulled from the tracks by commuters after stepping in front of a train at Dagenham Heathway Station.

She was taken to Goodmayes Hospital and the coroner criticised the way medical staff accepted a handover from police and paramedics, which resulted in them not taking Ms Brathwaite’s suicide threat seriously enough.

Ms Persaud said this was the second time the trust had been warned after a young woman died in similar circumstances in 2016.

She wrote: “There is a concern that insufficient steps have been taken by the trust to improve the handover process from first responders to staff following serious incidents in the community.”

A NELFT NHS Trust spokesman said: “The trust takes learning from deaths very seriously and continuously strives to improve its services. It is grateful to the coroner for the lessons identified at the inquest and is determined to ensure these lessons are learnt fully and effectively to improve its service.”


Mick Ferris

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