'No option' but to adjourn inquest into death of teacher allegedly failed by Roseberry Park Hospital

The inquest into the death of a teacher who was being cared for by a mental health trust has been adjourned.

Donna Levin passed away on January 8, 2020, at James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, after being found unresponsive in her room on the Bransdale Ward at Roseberry Park Hospital.

The Stockton mum-of-three was a special needs teacher but had to stop working when she became mentally unwell. Mrs Levin suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and had suicidal thoughts, making repeated attempts to take her own life.

The jury inquest resumed at Teesside Coroner's Court - sitting at Teesside Magistrates' Court - on Monday and heard the mum was under the care of Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys (TEWV) NHS Foundation Trust.

The hearing was told the Fairwell Road resident began to experience mental health difficulties in August 2019 and was admitted to Roseberry Park Hospital on December 28, 2019. Prior to admission, she lived at her home in Fairfield with her husband and children and had no significant previous medical history.

However, her mental health decline coincided with a medical scare involving her husband Stuart. Teesside Live previously reported Mr Levin gave evidence on Monday and believes the mum-of-three was failed by the trust.

He continued his evidence on Tuesday when Senior coroner for Teesside, Clare Bailey said a "development had been brought to her attention". She outlined that Mr Levin had been instructing Irwin Mitchell Solicitors during the process and was told a barrister would be representing him during the inquest.

However, on June 25 "he was informed by email that no barrister would be attending". Coroner Bailey said: "This is against his wishes."

She went on to state that she had “no option but to adjourn proceedings” and to have "wasted the jury’s time". She added that the halt in proceedings is due to the solicitors' "poor communication" and deemed it to be "very serious".

The coroner will be writing to Irwin Mitchell to "express concern". Turning to the resumed inquest, coroner Bailey stated that due to "personal reasons" she would not be able to hold the inquest until "the end part of the year" and suggested a pre inquest review for "the end of January" and the inquest in March.

Irwin Mitchell Solicitors declined to comment when contacted by Teesside Live.

Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) had been contacted for comment.

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