An inquest into a suicide within the mental health system has found a series of failings at the centre of the issue.
Abbi McAllister, 23, fell from the sixth floor of a multi-storey car park in Birmingham city centre after absconding from her carers in April last year.
And now the father of McAllister has called for a deeper investigation into the issue, suggesting that the NHS significantly failed his daughter.
McAllister was being cared for by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS foundation trust, and was suffering from a borderline personality disorder, depression and extreme anxiety, and a history of self-harm.
The investigation into her death revealed that the patient had attempted to commit suicide on numerous occasions leading up to the incident, with the most serious being threats to jump from buildings.
McAllister had been due to attend an off-site therapy session, when she managed to escape from carers.
Having taken a taxi to the car park where she fell, staff took over an hour to inform police of her disappearance.
The inquiry also suggested that carers fail to mention to the authorities that McAllister had previously attempted to take her own life, which was indeed understood by the institution.
McAllister’s father, Calvin Bailey, suggested that “the knowledge that her death could have been avoided if the trust had not made so many basic mistakes in caring for her” had made the already considerable suffering that his family was forced to endure far worse.
“There has to be a full review of the whole system to make sure there is adequate training. Abbi’s death was absolutely preventable. If they had done what they should have done and people had been professional and if the nursing staff would have not been thinking she’s OK, they would have taken a more professional approach,” Bailey asserted.
In addition, Bailey also suggested that the NHS trust had failed to show adequate contrition for the issue, in particular failing to apologise for its role in her death.
“The only time I got an apology was 2.15pm on Thursday after the jury had gone out to deliberate. That on its own was very distressing. No one took responsibility for Abbi’s death at all,” Bailey stated.
Commenting on the issue, a spokesperson for the trust stated that the organisation accepted the findings of the enquiry.
“The death of Abbi McAllister was a very tragic incident, for which our trust has already admitted failure to provide adequate safeguards to a vulnerable young person. We immediately undertook a thorough review of the circumstances leading up to Abbi’s death, which identified unacceptable shortcomings in the care provided to her, including the failure to fully understand the risk of absconsion and the unpredictability of her illness.”