THE Fartown mother, believed to have stepped in front of a train due to severe postnatal depression, was thought to be “improving” according to medical staff.
Huddersfield nurse Joanne Bingley, 39, gave birth to her “miracle” daughter in February last year after years of trying to get pregnant.
But following a severe case of postnatal depression, she stepped in front of the train only 10 weeks later.
Her inquest continued yesterday as mental health staff from the South West Yorkshire NHS Trust gave evidence.
Gail Tinker, a registered mental health worker, with 24 years’ experience, had received the referral for Mrs Bingley and initially carried out her assessment. She said: “Mrs Bingley said she had suicidal thoughts, but then said she had not intended to carry these out because she knew what the difficulty would be. She experienced it herself and didn’t want to put her family through that.”
Mrs Tinker, who had only been working in the Crisis Team for two months when she was given Mrs Bingley’s case, said Joanne was not assessed under the Mental Health Act as the evidence suggested that she was not a risk to herself or to others.
Mrs Bingley’s husband, Chris, claims he had been made the designated carer, yet neither he nor his wife’s family received any help on how to deal with her condition nor were Šthe couple given the option of in-patient care despite it proving successful for Mrs Bingley in the past.
Mr Mark Gargan, the solicitor representing Mr Bingley, told Bradford Coroner’s Court that a Crisis Team review had taken place the day prior to Mrs Bingley’s death but no member of staff who had dealt with her case directly had been present in that review meeting.
Mrs Tinker said: “The potential options of treatment were something that could have been discussed with Joanne and with Mr Bingley if I thought that they were needed.”
Coroner Professor Paul Marks asked her: “Do you think if she had been in hospital this tragic outcome would have been avoided?’’
Mrs Tinker replied that she had no answer to that question.
Crisis Team support worker Shelley Richmond, who has 20 years’ experience but is not a registered medical professional, had visited Mrs Bingley on April 27, three days prior to her death.
In her report she noted Mrs Bingley had asked her: “Can’t you take me with you?”, which she later described asŠ aŠ “flippant comment”.
Mr Gargan asked why the request was not taken seriously.
“This was a seriously depressed woman who had been identified as a serious risk,” he said. “This was not made as a joke.”
Mr Gargan said that in Mrs Richmond’s report only new negatives had been identified in Mrs Bingley’s condition and therefore that must have indicated deterioration.
Psychiatrist Dr Mohammad Afridi had seen Mrs Bingley the day before her death and had noted an “improved condition.”
He told the court that suicide risks were categorised into thoughts, plans and intent and she had not been categorised as intent and therefore was not posing an immediate risk.
When he was asked the reasons why Mrs Bingley might have taken her own life, he said it could be due to her “masking her symptoms” and, based on her toxicology report, there was no evidence of the anti-depressant fluoxetine that she was originally prescribed.
Dr Afridi, who has no direct expertise in peri-natal care, said that it was “extremely difficult, actually impossible” to identify why Mrs Bingley would want to take her own life.