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Mother of teenager in mental health hospital was not told she had self-harmed, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 17:18 19 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:18 19 November 2019

The former Huntercombe Hospital in Buxton. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The former Huntercombe Hospital in Buxton. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2014

The mother of a teenager who was staying at a secure mental health hospital was not told she had self-harmed shortly before a home visit, an inquest has heard.

Mia Titheridge, 17, from Yorkshire, had been a resident at the former Huntercombe Hospital in Buxton, near Aylsham, which closed in December 2017, when she was found unresponsive in her room on March 19, 2017.

She was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital but died that day.

Senior coroner Jacqueline Lake said the medical cause of death was hanging.

The jury at Norfolk Coroner's Court heard a part-coded note and another letter were found in her room during and after her home visit from March 10 to 12, according to former Huntercombe Hospital staff nurse Deanna Smith.

Another note was found in Miss Titheridge's room after she was discovered unresponsive.

The inquest heard how Miss Titheridge had self-harmed the day before going home to stay with her family.

Miss Smith, who worked on the rainforest ward where Miss Titheridge stayed, inspected the healing injury but did not tell the teenager's mother after presuming someone else had told her.

MORE: Tragic teen's parents criticise care at Norfolk mental health hospital

Dr Zeinab Iqbal, consultant psychiatrist for Huntercombe Hospital at the time, who signed off the home leave letter in absence of Miss Titheridge's lead consultant, said she was not informed about the self-harm.

Miss Smith rang Miss Titheridge's mother during the teenager's weekend away because she was concerned after finding the coded letter.

She added: "Her mother said everything was going well. The note wasn't mentioned to Mia's mum because we didn't want to make her anxious."

After Mia returned to hospital she became drunk from alcohol, despite being searched.

A meeting was held where her mother spoke about how difficult her daughter's recent visit had been.

Miss Smith described the teenager, who was meant to be observed every 15 minutes, as struggling with being low in mood, suicidal ideation and poor diet.

Miss Titheridge was also distressed after learning she could have no more home visits and would not be moved to a less secure unit. The inquest continues.

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