Shock as trust admits failings at woman's inquest

Darren and Leanne Edwards on their wedding dayDarren and Leanne Edwards on their wedding day
Darren and Leanne Edwards on their wedding day
A GRIEVING family have been left in shock after hearing admissions of failure at an inquest into the death of a loving wife.

Leanne Edwards died on October 27, aged 45, at her home in Williams Close, Rowner.

An inquest was held into her death at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court last month.

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It heard that Leanne had been under the care of Southern Health Trust when she committed suicide.

Her husband Darren Edwards said her depression started after she lodged a complaint about her manager at Tesco.

He said: ‘She was not herself, she was depressed. This was known and the experts were not helping the situation – everything fell on deaf ears.’

He said as he left for work that morning, she seemed ‘more upbeat’ but there had been a period of about two months where she had been ‘emotionless.’

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She had taken an overdose of medication two weeks beforehand, but had not shown any signs of wanting to repeat the incident.

Leanne had received initial care at Parklands Hospital in Basingstoke, which Darren praised. However he said problems started when she was transferred to Elmleigh in Havant.

Darren said: ‘No-one listened to Leanne or myself when she said the medication was not working, despite our begging and pleading. They had a “we know better” attitude.’

He said that her care had been lacking in understanding, care, planning and general competence. He said that staff did not tell him that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and said they did not call him for at least two hours when she left the unit one day without permission.

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He said: ‘Could I have done more? Perhaps. But I put my faith in the professionals. They should have seen the signs. I hold them solely responsible for Leanne taking her own life.

‘Sorry is a powerful word. It can mean so much and it’s not a word I have heard in the past five months. It can’t bring Leanne back but it can go some way to ease the pain and loss that I feel.

‘I no longer have my soulmate, my rock, my friend and my wife. They failed in their procedures and systems and most importantly they failed Leanne.’

The inquest heard from Sheila Burton from Southern Health, who said that an investigation had been carried out.

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When challenged by Leanne’s father Donald Pettitt about whether the trust had failed Leanne, she said: ‘I think so. I think she was let down by the level of care that she received.’

Assistant deputy coroner Lincoln Brookes made a short narrative finding in which he reflected on Leanne’s mental health conditions, medication and care.

He said: ‘She seems to have been a loving wife, daughter and step-daughter.’

After the verdict Darren said: ‘I am still in shock at what happened, I didn’t expect the admission that was given.’