Family’s vow legal fight over sister’s death

Annesley House
Annesley House

The family of a woman who died while in care at a mental health unit has vowed to pursue legal action against the company in charge.

Jayne Ebbage (30) was a patient at Annesley House, Annesley, when she collapsed in September last year.

During a recent inquest, the coroner said that there had been ‘missed opportunities’ by Partnerships in Care, which runs the unit, to have Jayne admitted to hospital.

Jayne, who suffered from a personality disorder and was detained under the mental health act, had collapsed several times in the days leading up to her death and had breathing difficulties.

The coroner said that confusion over the results of her early-warning observation checks by staff should have led to Jayne being taken to hospital, but was not.

Her GP was not even informed about her collapsing in the days before her death by staff.

She eventually died from a blood clot on her lung, the inquest was told.

Jayne’s sister, Karren-Anne Gowdridge, said the family were now seeking legal advice.

She added: ““It is supposed to be a facility that helps people, and they did not help Jayne at all.

“She should have been taken to hospital.”

Following the inquest, coroner Dr Elizabeth Didcock recorded a narrative verdict but issued a prevention of future deaths report to ensure other patients would not be put at a similar risk.

Partnerships in Care says it has already taken steps to improve staff training, procedures for the assessment of patients and greater communication between staff and primary care professionals.

But Karren-Anne said: “It’s too little too late.

“The early warning scoring system has been in place since April 2013, that was two years ago.

“They have now done the training, why could they not have done it back then?”

Mother-of-one Jayne had been admitted to Annesley House, a 28-bed unit, in June of last year.

She suffered from epilepsy, asthma, was ‘significantly’ overweight and had an emotional unstable personality disorder with bouts of depression.

It was heard how she had initially settled in well, but became distressed and began hearing voices and had bouts of dizziness and breathlessness.

The company said it did not wish to comment further on possible legal proceedings.