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Cromer woman took her own life just 10 days after being discharged from hospital

PUBLISHED: 17:58 07 December 2018 | UPDATED: 17:58 07 December 2018

Dr Bohdan Solomka, medical director at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT). Photo courtesy of NSFT.

Dr Bohdan Solomka, medical director at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT). Photo courtesy of NSFT.

Copyright © Keith Whitmore

A family has criticised a mental health service after a mother-of-three took her own life just 10 days after being discharged from a mental health ward.

Northgate Hospital.

 Picture: James BassNorthgate Hospital. Picture: James Bass

Theresa Anne Gillett from Burnt Hills, Cromer, had been an inpatient at Northgate Hospital in Great Yarmouth for a week in December last year after her GP feared she planned to end her life.

The 59-year-old suffered with severe anxiety and was discharged from the hospital on November 22, 2017 into the care of Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s Norwich crisis resolution and home treatment team.

But on December 2 she died when she was hit by a train.

At the inquest into her death on Thursday Mrs Gillett’s family said the hospital failed to discuss her condition with them prior to her discharge. And the hospital admitted the family should have been involved in creating Mrs Gillett’s discharge plan.

Norwich coroners court at Carrow House.. Picture: ANTONY KELLYNorwich coroners court at Carrow House.. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

However Dr Larry Ayuba, consultant psychologist at Northgate Hospital, told the inquest he saw “a considerable improvement” in Mrs Gillett’s mood and changes to her medication had made her “a different person”.

Giving a narrative conclusion area coroner Yvonne Blake said: “[Mrs Gillett] had a fixation about her brother’s death, he was killed in a road traffic collision with a drunk driver and she felt that was her fault somehow. She also feared that if she did certain things, like wearing a certain jumper, then something would happen to her family. She developed thoughts and planning of suicide.”

Mrs Blake said it was decided Mrs Gillett should be admitted to a mental health ward but a week later “it was felt that she had improved and was not suicidal and could be discharged”.

But she added that she was later hit by a train and killed.

Dr Bohdan Solomka, medical director at Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT), said: “We would like to express our most sincere condolences to the family of Theresa Gillett. In addition, we want to apologise to them again for not always adhering to our own policies and for our failure to involve the family in Mrs Gillett’s discharge.

“However, we carried out a thorough investigation and the coroner was satisfied that we have taken appropriate steps to improve communication between teams and to have more robust discharge processes and crisis plans in place.”

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