Family say 27-year-old mum would still be alive if she'd been admitted to mental health hospital

Roseberry Park Hospital in Middlesbrough
-Credit: (Image: Teesside Live)

The family of a beloved mum believe she would still be alive if she'd been admitted to a mental health hospital when they raised concerns, an inquest has heard.

Lauren Wilson, 27, was found unresponsive at her home on Astonbury Green, in Middlesbrough, in March 2022 after her mum contacted police for a welfare visit. Lauren struggled with bipolar disorder and psychotic symptoms and was taking medication for her mental health.

The inquest at Teesside Coroner's Court heard the mum-of-two was being treated by Roseberry Park Hospital in the days leading up to her death following an assessment on Friday, March 18.

In documentary evidence, Lauren's mum Sally, said her daughter's mental health had deteriorated prior to her death and she had sought help. She said: "Leading up to Lauren's passing I could see her getting ill day by day leading up to Friday, 18th March, 2022. I could recognise the signs as Lauren had been a patient at Roseberry Park and Parkside over the last few years."

Sally said Lauren had previously been treated with depot injections (a slow release form of medication) but was taken off these by a consultant at Roseberry Park and was on oral medication. She said often her daughter would either not take her medication or overdose.

Sally said on Friday, March 18, she telephoned Roseberry Park and spoke to the Crisis Team raising her concerns before taking Lauren to the hospital. She said: "I knew Lauren needed admitting as her behaviour was erratic and she was talking about unrealistic things which did not make sense. As a mother I knew my own daughter and unfortunately I know all too well Lauren's behaviour which needed urgent intervention."

Sally said while at the hospital Lauren completed a form with a member of staff but was crying, did not understand the document and was unable to concentrate. She said during the assessment Lauren revealed she had been taking illicit drugs and the mum raised her concerns repeatedly.

Sally said: "The member of staff said she asked if Lauren felt suicidal but said Lauren stated she did not. I raised my concerns again to a member of staff as I knew Lauren's current state of mind and how she had been previously. I said that Lauren needed admitting but staff said there were no beds at Roseberry Park but there was maybe availability at Scarborough.

"I told her to admit Lauren to Scarborough if this was the only available option but then this was no longer mentioned and I felt the member of staff did not think Lauren warranted admittance at this time."

The inquest heard Lauren was given two appointments on Saturday and Sunday and attended both at Roseberry Park before tragedy struck. On Monday, March 21, Sally said she was called by the Crisis Team who said Lauren had agreed to a home visit that afternoon but did not answer the door.

Sally then called Cleveland Police for a welfare check who found Lauren unresponsive in her home later that evening. She said the Wednesday after Lauren's death she received a call from Roseberry Park asking if the family needed any help and informing her there would be a meeting about Lauren's care and could she comment.

She said: "I could not believe I was being asked to comment regarding Lauren's care - or in my eyes, the failings of Roseberry Park Hospital. I feel if Lauren had been admitted on the Friday she would still be alive today. I feel she was let down by the Crisis Team, Roseberry Park Hospital and the whole system."

Learning disability nurse Sarah Atkinson gave evidence at the inquest and assessed Lauren at the crisis assessment suite at Roseberry Park on March 18. She said Lauren presented as "cooperative and responsive" and was pleasant and calm.

She said Lauren confirmed she did not have any thoughts of self-harm or suicide and she believed she did not need admitting. She told the court: "During my assessment I didn't feel at any point Lauren needed to be admitted. In regard to the Scarborough bed being mentioned I don't recall that conversation being had. Sally did ask me about admitting Lauren into Roseberry Park and I did say there wasn't a bed because there were none that day.

"In regards to my decision, if there wasn't a bed that wouldn't alter anything. If I felt Lauren needed to be admitted, I would wait until a bed was found even if that was a private bed out of area."

The nurse said hospital admission was never mentioned by Lauren. The nurse then stated that when Sally asked for Lauren to be admitted she said it was to give her daughter a "break from the local area." Ms Atkinson said this would not be a suitable reason to admit the mum.

TEWV has been contacted for comment.

The inquest continues.