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Grieving mum of student who killed herself says she was let down by health services

Hannah Webster, from Dewsbury, had been severely depressed but was allowed to leave an A&E unit and was found dead three days later

Dewsbury student Hannah Webster who took her own life

The family of a student who took her own life claim she was let down by a hospital.

Hannah Webster, 20, from Dewsbury , who was studying finance and banking at Essex University in Colchester, was found hanged near allotments close to a river at about 12.10pm on May 12.

Her mother, Deborah Webster, revealed that Hannah had been in A&E at Colchester Hospital but had been discharged before they had received medical records from the South West Yorkshire Partnership which had been caring for Hannah in Dewsbury.

She said: “In my opinion, they have failed her. They had a duty of care and they failed that.”

She added: “She was a beautiful, intelligent girl and we love her and miss her.

“Our lives will never be the same again. She was well liked at university and she wanted to work abroad and to be a mentor at university.”

Dewsbury student Hannah Webster who took her own life

At an inquest into her death today coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said: “I have come to the very sad conclusion that Hannah intended to take her own life. She clearly was very troubled.”

Hannah had been suffering with mental health issues since March 2015 when she was diagnosed with depression.

She was also suffering borderline personality disorder and was under the care of the South West Yorkshire Partnership who regularly made visits to her home in Dewsbury for assessment.

The mental health trust had been in correspondence with Hannah from March 2015 until August 2016, Essex Live reports .

After making repeated attempts to take her own life over the past two years she rang her mother from her student house in Colchester to say she was struggling.

On May 9 Deborah called Essex Police who went to her home before taking her to Colchester’s accident and emergency department.

Dewsbury student Hannah Webster who took her own life

Insp Barry Atkinson, of Essex Police, said: “Hannah telephoned her mother and stated she cannot take the pain anymore."

She was discharged from the hospital a few hours later and intensive home care was granted, but she sadly went missing.

Deborah again called Essex Police on May 11 after becoming increasingly concerned for her daughter’s welfare.

A full-scale search was carried out by a special search team and she was then found dead on May 12.

While she was in A&E a few days earlier, Colchester Hospital had requested mental health records from the Yorkshire-based trust, on behalf of Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust (EPUT).

EPUT sent a fax outlining the request and did not receive the details back until after Hannah had been assessed and discharged by a clinician.

Colchester General Hospital

Deborah said: “We want to know why she wasn’t sectioned or detained.”

EPUT also requested information of Hannah’s psychiatric records from the university who said that, due to a data sharing protocol, were not allowed to give them out.

However, this was not the case and the university could readily provide the trust with the data.

The Essex-based trust has since carried out an investigation into the sharing of data between the two institutions.

Emma Strivens, service manager at EPUT, said: “Essex University have a protocol for information sharing.

“I think it is really important that we do have a really positive working relationship with them but in this instance it did not pull through.”

Hannah’s family also believe that adequate care was not provided once she was discharged from the hospital on May 9.

Hannah’s aunty Karen Spurr said: “The main triggers were being on her own and splitting up with her girlfriend. They left her at home on her own and she had no support.”

Coroner Ms Beasley-Murray added: “She clearly was very loved by all of you, members of the family, who are here.

“I would like to say to you that I express sympathy to you. Not only have you lost her but you have had the ordeal of sitting through this inquest and have done that with dignity.

“I turn to the two trusts at the back and say that I hope that lessons have been learnt and hope that the actions are implemented.”

EPUT has been approached for comment.

Where to get help if you're struggling

You don't have to suffer in silence if you're struggling with your mental health. Here are some groups you can contact when you need help.

Samaritans: Phone 116 123, 24 hours a day, or email, in confidence

Childline: Phone 0800 1111. Calls are free and won't show up on your bill

PAPYRUS: A voluntary organisation supporting suicidal teens and young adults. Phone 0800 068 4141

Depression Alliance: A charity for people with depression. No helpline but offers useful resources and links to other information

Students Against Depression: A website for students who are depressed, have low mood, or are suicidal. Click here to visit

Bullying UK: A website for both children and adults affected by bullying. Click here

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): For young men who are feeling unhappy. Has a website and a helpline: 0800 58 58 58

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