A mental health trust has admitted a Huddersfield mum’s suicide could have been prevented if she had been treated for severe postnatal depression.

Huddersfield nurse Joanne Bingley – known as Joe – gave birth to her daughter Emily in February, 2010.

But following a battle with postnatal depression Mrs Bingley stepped in front of a train near Deighton railway station just 10 weeks later.

Now, more than three years after the tragedy, legal documents have revealed that South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which treated Mrs Bingley, admitted she may not have taken her own life if she had been offered a mental health facility during the time after her daughter was born.

In a statement submitted to court, the NHS accepted the Trust had failed in its duty of care, and failed to offer and provide Mrs Bingley with access to specialist perinatal psychiatric services such as those available at the Leeds Mother and Baby Unit.

The judgement heard at Northampton County Court read: “It is admitted that on the balance of probabilities the deceased would have accepted admission to a specialised unit and the deceased would not have committed suicide on 30 April, 2010, had she been admitted.”

Husband Chris Bingley told the Examiner: “In one sense I feel relieved. Three years after the inquest the Trust has admitted its failings.

“At least now they have admitted it, but it shouldn’t have taken three years.

“What concerns me still is why perinatal mental health services are so appalling.

“We want justice for all those other women who are suffering and not being given the services they so desperately need.” Mr Bingley said he has asked Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman to call a Parliamentary Review to prevent further failings.

He added: “To this day I have not had an apology from the Trust.

“The only correspondence I have had from them is a mental services satisfaction survey five days after Joe died.

“I didn’t open it at the time but I then had a follow-up reminder.”

Joe Bingley with husband Chris and baby Emily
Joe Bingley with husband Chris and baby Emily
 

And Mr Bingley said he had been contacted by other bereaved relatives whose partner’s have died in similar harrowing circumstances.

He added: “I’ve lost everything fighting this, but I couldn’t let it go. I’d made a decision to not give up.

“I lost the house and material things which can be replaced. They are irrelevant.

“Not a single person has been held accountable for the failings of perinatal services.”

Tim Breedon, director of nursing, clinical governance and safety at the trust, said: “Joanne Bingley’s death was a terrible tragedy and our sympathies are reiterated to her family.

The Care Quality Commission is the body responsible for monitoring quality in health services. They routinely visit health services to assess the quality of care and patient experience.

“The visit to Kirklees services, reported in April 2012, was part of the routine inspection programme and reported minor concerns regarding the provision of written information to patients, co-ordination of care and staff training. The Commission repeated its review of the service in September 2012 and found the Trust was meeting all the essential standards of quality and safety inspected.’’

Husband Chris Bingley referred to eight out of 21 recommendations made by the NHS Independent Investigation into Joanne’s death which have either not been implemented or failed to meet the Care Quality Commissions Review of Compliance Standards.

The failed recommendations include:

Develop specialist perinatal community health resources

Improve working relationships with Leeds Mother and Baby Unit to have a seamless pathway in and out of care in the unit

Education and training of health professionals working in crisis and community mental health teams