Mother of Llay woman not told mental health team would not visit on day of suicide

Reporter:

Geraint Jones

A MOTHER was not told a mental health team would not visit her daughter on the day she killed herself, an inquest heard.

Nicola Edmond, 31, was found by her grandfather, William Thomson, hanged in her mother’s bedroom at Second Avenue, Llay on the afternoon of April 1, 2015, an inquest at the Guildhall in Wrexham heard yesterday.

Miss Edmond’s grandparents were due to visit from Scotland that day and Mrs Margaret Collier, Miss Edmond’s mother, said that had she known there would not be a visit from the mental health team she would have waited until they arrived before she left for work.

North Wales East and Central coroner John GIttins heard that Miss Edmond, originally from Sale, had come to live with her mother and sister Jodie – who was away at the time of Miss Edmond’s death – on February 10 after she was discharged from Trafford General Hospital in Manchester.

She had been sectioned there for severe depression since December 2014 and had been a voluntary in-patient earlier that year.

Mrs Collier said she realised her daughter was not well enough to be at home and that a few weeks before her death, she had to take Miss Edmond out of the shower because she was banging her head against the wall.

Miss Edmond was distressed at the prospect of going back to hospital even for a routine appointment, Mrs Collier said, and she had to promise that she and Jodie would attend with her.

When questioned by Mr Gittins, Mrs Collier said that she had not been aware that from March 19 her daughter had been researching suicide methods online, but she had felt she was suicidal and had told the team.

During the weekend and the two days before her death, Miss Edmond had been more upset and Mrs Collier had called the team on March 31.

Miss Edmond had said she was not taking her medication and Mrs Collier did not know what to do, but added that the night before her death Miss Edmond was “back to the girl I knew” and that it was “completely out of the blue”.

Mrs Collier said she now knew that this happened a lot in these cases and asked why this information was not given to families and carers.

“I took it as a good sign, that she was improving,” she said.

It would be unusual for the team not to call the day after Miss Edmond had been so upset, she added.

However, she praised the 'fabulous' overall care the team had given, particularly nurse Christina Duckett and health care worker Claire Bennett.

The inquest heard from consultant Dr Naseer Ahmed Choudry that he had agreed with Miss Edmond during a visit on March 31 that the team would next visit on April 2.

When asked by Mr Gittins if there was anything during his last visit that would have warranted informing Mrs Collier, Dr Choudry said there was not.

Dr Choudry added that Miss Edmond had not shown any signs that she was suicidal and he had no reason to believe that she was not taking her medication, apart from her lithium as she told him she was afraid of the blood test that was required with it.

But Dr Choudry added he reassured Miss Edmond and that she agreed to take the lithium and have the blood test on Thursday.

He added Miss Edmond looked more comfortable and relaxed, although she was a little bit anxious because she had not taken the lithium.

If there had been concern or anxiety on his part he would have shared it with Mrs Collier, Dr Choudry said.

He added that Miss Edmond had not expressed any suicidal intentions to him and was 'very engaging with us'.

Both Mrs Duckett and Miss Bennett also said Miss Edmond had not expressed suicidal thoughts and that news of her death was devastating.

Miss Bennett added that on March 31, Miss Edmond had been upset because she didn’t want her grandparents to see her the way she was.

She added that Miss Edmond was reassured by a plan where she would go to her room if she felt the need and that a team member would come if she phoned them.

Police found that from March 19, she had researched various suicide methods online, including hanging.

Toxicology tests at Ysbyty Gwynedd revealed there were no signs of the two types of anti-depressant, alcohol, painkillers or lithium in Miss Edmond’s blood.

But it was noted the blood quality was poor and that the results should be treated with caution.

Pathologist Dr Andrew Dalton said the cause of death was cerebral edema with anoxia due to suspension.

Hilary Owen, head of governance at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said an investigation found in hindsight that the l ack of a visit that day probably should have been communicated, but that was very much a decision for clinicians whether they do that or not.

The coroner said he had no doubt Miss Edmond had intended to take her life due to the research she had carried out on suicide methods.

He also noted the noticeable decline in her mood and the apparent change in Miss Edmond’s demeanour on the night before her death.

It was probable that she was not fully complying with her medication, Mr Gittins said.

Miss Edmond had committed the act in circumstances where she was unlikely to be found, the coroner added.

Mr Gittins noted Mrs Collier’s overall praise for the team and said that while notifying Mrs Collier would have been good practice, it was impossible to know whether or not it might have and any difference.

He told Miss Edmond’s family that she was clearly a lovely person despite her recent problems, and added: “Clearly this is a lady who had many challenges in her life but she was supported throughout by those who loved her and the loss you have suffered is, quite frankly, immeasurable.”

The coroner recorded a conclusion of suicide.

l Nicola Edmond’s mother paid a touching tribute to her daughter at the inquest.

Margaret Collier said that Miss Edmond had been born three months premature and weighed only 1lb 2oz at birth.

She added: “It was quite something for her to survive. We were initially told she would only live for two weeks, but in the end we had 31 years. She was a fighter.”

Miss Edmond was educated at Sale Grammar School and attended university in Preston, where she studied business and marketing.

She had suffered from Kallmann syndrome, a genetic condition which meant she did not go through puberty naturally, and it had to be induced medically.

She became very career driven, eventually becoming an officer with a housing association.

Mrs Collier added that prior to her depression, Miss Edmond had been a very bubbly, happy. sensitive party girl.

Miss Edmond felt she could do something to better the lives of tenants and did so to the best of her ability’, Mrs Collier added.

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