THE fathers of two girls who took their lives whilst under the care of a mental health trust staged a demonstration about ‘failures’ they believe cost their daughters’ lives.
The families of Christie Harnett, Nadia Sharif and Emily Moore believe all three were let down by Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.
Christie, 17, died last June, four days after being found unconscious in the bath at the young people’s mental health facility West Lane Hospital, in Middlesbrough.
Nadia passed away in August, also aged 17, after being found in a coma at the hospital.
And 18-year-old Emily was found dead at Lanchester Road Hospital in February, having spent time at West Lane and just a week after moving from child and adolescent mental health care services to adult services.
Today, Christie and Emily’s fathers were outside Lanchester Road Hospital, Durham, demanding transparency and accountability in relation to concerns including incidents of self-harm and inpatient observation at the Trust.
Christie’s dad Michael Harnett, of Newton Aycliffe, said: “When Christie died we didn’t want it to happen anymore, but in six weeks Nadia was gone and eight months Emily as well.
“We knew the pain those families feel and you should never be able to say that.
“We don’t want anyone else to experience that and, knowing how badly they have been failed, we have to do this.
“These are places that are meant to keep them safe.
“We were told Christie had to be in for her safety but it turned out she was probably safer outside the hospital than inside.”
David Moore, of Shildon, said: “In Emily’s case, in four years under this Trust it was calamity after calamity and I’ve heard from other families who say the same. These things shouldn’t be happening.
“There aren’t enough hospitals, beds or nurses anywhere but there are real problems with this Trust that need addressing.”
The Care Quality Commission is taking action against the Trust ‘to protect the safety and welfare of residents’ at West Lane Hospital which is currently closed to inpatients.
A spokesperson for NHS England, which commissioned an independent investigation, said: “The investigation continues to advance however Covid-19 has meant that progress is slower than it would normally be.
“We are working closely with all parties to ensure it continues to move forward during the ongoing pandemic.”
Brent Kilmurray, chief executive at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are deeply sorry about the tragic death of Mr Moore’s daughter Emily.
“We have explained to him that because of the ongoing independent investigation there are times when we genuinely cannot go into any more detail.
“I met with Mr Moore this morning, we will continue to stay in touch with him, and we are doing everything we can to answer his questions where possible and to support him and his family.”