Mum’s relief at inquest verdict

TRAGIC: Jade Pollard
TRAGIC: Jade Pollard

THE heartbroken mother of a mentally ill Marsh Farm woman has praised an inquest jury who ruled that carers were not fully aware of the danger of her daughter harming herself when they let her out of a inpatient facility.

Former supermarket worker Jade Pollard was just 23 when she stepped in front of a train at Leagrave Station on January 19 last year.

She had been allowed to leave Oakley Court, where she was being treated for a schizoaffective disorder, unattended despite having been sectioned for her own safety

Devastated mum Jackie Horswell said: “We’ve been waiting for a year and five months for this.

“We have a lot of anger as a family.

“Witnesses and family members had seen her the night before and there’s no way she should’ve been allowed out on her own.”

Jade had been having problems since she was 17 or 18 years old and was initially diagnosed with bipolar disorder after having paranoid thoughts.

She admitted herself to hospital in December 2009 and was kept in hospital under a section three order for her own safety.

She moved to Oakley Court just five days before her death and was allowed to leave the centre the previous day accompanied by a member of staff.

But on January 19, she was tragically allowed to leave unaccompanied for one hour following a multi-disciplinary review by staff.

“She was stunning, always bubbly, very friendly, she never had a bad word to say about anyone.

“She was the perfect daughter and the perfect sister.

“I’ll never get to see her get married or have children or anything like that.

“Thank you to the jury, the verdict was more than we expected and thank you to Noble Solicitors too.”

Jade had been admitted to Oakley Court on a number of occasions including a six month session in 2008.

Jackie was not informed of the decision to allow Jade to leave Oakley Court unsupervised and, having been so closely involved in Jade’s care, would have expected to have received a telephone call from the staff to inform them when there was such a big change in her care.

The family now hopes that the Care Quality Commission might review the mental health system in light of the case.

The jury at last Wednesday’s inquest provided a unanimous narrative verdict which said: “After a long period of mental illness, Jade took her own life by stepping in front of a train while on unescorted leave from Oakley Court, Luton.

“This leave was granted after a multi-disciplinary review, during which the full risk of self-harm was not fully appreciated.”

A spokesperson for SEPT, who provide mental health services in Luton, said: “The Trust extends its condolences to the family and friends of Ms Pollard and welcomes the coroner’s verdict.

“Immediately following this tragic incident an internal review was undertaken to identify learning for the team and the wider Trust.

“The review identified a number of actions which were completed between July and September 2010. The focus of the Trust’s investigation concentrated on strengthening patient safety as well as risk assessment and management on the ward.”

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