The dad of a distressed new mum who tragically fell to her death six days after giving birth is to take legal action against the hospital where she received care.
Neil Hinchliffe, 62, said that Calderdale Royal Hospital staff ‘failed’ his daughter Roseanne, who used to live in Shelley, by discharging her only hours after she was admitted to A&E despite a district nurse’s concern that she was suffering from psychosis.
Less than one day later on November 3 ‘Rosy’, as she was known to her family and friends, fell 80ft from cliffs close to Whitby Abbey after calling a taxi in the early hours from her home in Boothtown, Halifax.
The news comes after a coroner decided against a verdict of suicide and recorded an open verdict at the inquest into her death at Scarborough Coroner’s Court on Thursday (24 April).
Shelley resident Neil said that his daughter had been 17 days overdue and had undergone a long, difficult labour that began on October 25 and resulted in an emergency caesarean on October 28.
He said that he noticed that she seemed ‘strained’ when he went to visit her and her daughter Laney in hospital two days later, after which she was discharged.
Neil said: “I believe that the hospital failed Rosy and I’m not happy with the care she received when she was readmitted on November 2.”
Statements read out at the court revealed that this was following the request of a district nurse, who was concerned that Rosy appeared ‘jittery, anxious and disorientated’, ‘did not know what was going on’ and had said that she ‘didn’t feel right and that something was wrong.’
When she was re-admitted she told a doctor that she thought her baby had died and was referred to a mental health crisis team who saw her later that day for a 75 minute assessment before discharging her later that night.
She got up hours later to travel to Whitby whilst her partner, David Wilde, was sleeping. She was found at 8.30am on November 3 on rocks below East Cliff by a man who was out walking with his dog and children.
She was pronounced dead at the scene, with a post mortem later finding that the cause of death had been multiple injuries, including a fractured skull and spine.
Neil said: “I think they were understaffed and I’m not happy with the four hours that Rosy had to wait to be seen by a doctor or by the assessment they gave to her because they should have spotted that something was wrong.
“They are medically experienced staff in this field and it’s their job to look after people’s lives but they failed her really badly.
“We have sent a complaint to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service and are following this up with our solicitor because we want them to pay compensation to Laney, who is now going to have to grow up without a mum.”
In a statement read out in court, midwife Karen Lister said: “She had been displaying anxiety and found it difficult to come to terms with her birth experience.
“I praised Roseanne and told her she was doing really well.”
In a statement, Dr Claire Greasley said: “She told me she’d considered jumping off a bridge to end her life, but said she wouldn’t do it because of her partner and baby.”
Mental health nurse Sharon Smith said Roseanne had smiled while showing her pictures of Laney on her mobile phone. She said: “At the time of the assessment, we could not detect problems of psychosis or depression.”
Coroner John Broadbridge decided against a verdict of suicide as Roseanne had taken her passport, money and dressings for her Caesarian scar, instead giving an open verdict.
Neil said: “I’m happy with the verdict because I didn’t want suicide written on her death certificate but I still can’t come to terms with her death.
“She was an ideal daughter, the apple of my eye and all her friends and family were devastated by what happened.”
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