The husband of a tragic Huddersfield nurse who took her life following a battle with postnatal depression has launched a bid to establish a Parliamentary commission into Perinatal Mental Health to prevent future ‘unnecessary’ deaths.
Chris Bingley, hopes that the body will focus on ways to improve help for those suffering with related condition and that it could be launched in Spring next year if the £100,000 needed to set it up is found.
Chris, who is working with Huddersfield MP, Barry Sheerman to establish the group, believes it is needed due to what he said is the continued ‘failure’ of the NHS to implement UK-wide specialist services, highlighted during an investigation into the death of his wife Joe into practice.
Joe, a nurse, stepped in front of a train near Deighton railway station just 10 weeks after giving birth to her daughter, Emily, in February 2010.
Chris has spoken to health experts at a major perinatal mental health conference in Swansea, called MARCE, where he highlighted his frustations.
It comes after his decision to rejoin the foundation he set up in Joe’s name, The Joe Bingley Memorial Foundation, which was set up to urge the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, who treated Joe, to admit it had failed in its duty of care.
He said: “Despite a court finding earlier this year that the death of Joe could have been prevented were she admitted to a specialist mental health unit they have failed to implement all the recommendations that were highlighted and were promised by MPs and the Department of Health over ten years ago after the deaths of other women.
“The steering group of the commission will be made up of MPs, health professionals, charities and service users who will give recommendations on how to reduce these sorts of deaths and suffering.
“We’re on our way to our £100,000 target due to donations and grants.”
Policy Connect, have already given their approval for the commission, which they will run and which Chris envisages will take 12 months to complete.
Other cases of suicide involving post natal depression include former Shelley resident, Rosy Hinchliffe, in 2013. She died after falling off a cliff at Whitby.
Chris said: “We don’t just want this to be a one-off affair, we want there to also be an annual review to keep a check on what is happening so that planned improvements don’t fall by the wayside.
“There’s no point having a commission without the ability to follow things up.
“At the moment 35,000 mums are being left to suffer alone each year by a lack of appropriate help.”
Chris launched his impassioned campaign to improve services three years ago but will have to wait until next year to find out whether he will receive compensation for the £400,000 in legal fees he incurred, which cost him his house and many of his belongings.