Jury find failings in care of detained patient leading to her death in hospital

Tuesday 28 November 2017

The jury at the inquest into the death of Julianne Simpson, held at Heywood Coroner’s Court (Greater Manchester), found that Ms Simpson had died by accident after choking on a 60 ml medication pot in which her medication had been supplied to her. Ms Simpson was represented by Stephen Simblet.

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Ms Simpson was a detained patient in Edenfield Centre, awaiting transfer to Rampton Hospital. She had been kept in segregation and as the jury found, exhibiting self- harming behaviour due to her paranoid schizophrenia. Although Ms Simpson had been kept in seclusion and due to her self- harming behaviour, prevented from having access to virtually every item, there had been a failure to document the means by which medication should be supplied and an inadequate risk assessment of the 60 ml pot.

The jury found the use of that pot to administer medication to be inappropriate. In addition to the jury’s findings, the coroner (Ms Kearsley) announced that she intends to make recommendations in relation to the availability of larger medication pots and in relation to the procedures for transferring patients into high security hospitals.

Stephen Simblet is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests Team and Civil Liberties Team.

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