The inquest into the death of 20-year-old D’Anna Joan Ward is to begin on 19 September at Blackburn Coroners Court. D’Anna’s parents – Andrew and Pamela Ward – are being represented by Inquest Lawyers Group members, Michael Kennedy and Jim Gladman of Switalskis Solicitors.
D’Anna Joan Ward had complex needs with a history of impulsive risk taking behaviour along with a significant history of self-harm behaviour, ligaturing and overdose. At the time of her death, she was living in a Supported Living placement in a privately run care home, under the care of the local Complex Care and Treatment Team (CCTT). D’Anna died in hospital in the early hours of 11 August 2015, after being found hanging in her bedroom four days earlier.
D’Anna first became known to mental health services in early 2013. Her first admission to an inpatient facility was in September 2013 in Yorkshire due to self-harm behaviour. She spent much of 2014 detained under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act in acute psychiatric wards or Psychiatric Intensive Care Units.
D’Anna was living in Bradford at the time, during which she cut herself, burnt herself with cigarettes, overdosed, ligatured, starved herself and jumped from windows and wardrobes breaking her toes.
In September 2014 a Consultant Psychiatrist reported that there was a “significant chance of her accidentally killing herself” due to her self-harming and risky behaviour.
Three months later, in November 2014, D’Anna was discharged to an out of area Supported Living placement at Wessex Close, Accrington, Lancashire. The home was run by private company Prospects Supported Living Limited. D’Anna was placed under a Community Treatment Order (CTO) by her care team in Bradford prior to her moving to Prospects. As D’Anna was living in Lancashire, the Bradford care team made a referral to local Mental Health Services (for Care Coordination and Consultant input) in January 2015. An official handover was completed at the end of April 2015 to the local CCTT.
D’Anna had self-harmed, ligatured and overdosed many times. She attended the Emergency department over 20 times between November 2014 and August 2015 whilst at Wessex Close. She required admission as an in-patient on seven occasions.
D’Anna was found hanging in her room at Wessex Close on 7 August 2015 and she was admitted to the Critical Care Unit at the Royal Blackburn Hospital where she later died.
The inquest: Key issues
D’Anna’s family question whether Prospects Wessex Close home was the most appropriate placement to meet her complex needs. They are concerned about the level of care provided to her.
It is hoped that the inquest will address key questions surrounding her transfer to Prospects, including:
- the decision to discharge D’Anna from hospital and to make a Community Treatment Order;
- the transfer of D’Anna‘s care from Bradford to Lancashire;
- the decision to place D’Anna at Prospects Supported Living;
- policies and risk assessments;
- whether D’Anna should have been recalled to hospital from the CTO;
- whether the premises at Prospects were suitable; and
- the level of care and supervision provided at Prospects.
The Interested Persons in the inquest proceedings are: D’Anna’s family; Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust; Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust; and Prospects Supported Living Limited.
Switalskis lawyers can provide specialist legal support and representation in relation to inquests. For more information, please contact Solicitor Jim Gladman on 01924 882000 or alternatively, you can contact us through the website.