51-year-old had been sectioned for her own safety at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford
A mum-of-three who was killed by a train after absconding from hospital was failed by the NHS trust responsible for her care, a coroner has ruled.
Mum-of-three Deborah Yalcin, from Downe in Kent, died when she was hit by a freight train at Didcot Parkway Station shortly after 11am on December 3, last year.
The 51-year-old natural health therapist was awaiting psychiatric assessment at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford after her family became concerned because she claimed she could hear voices in her head. She had been admitted under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act because there were no available beds at the Trust’s local psychiatric facilities.
Following Deborah’s death, her devastated husband, Ahmet, instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her care under Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and Oxford health NHS Foundation Trust.
An five-day inquest at Oxford Coroner’s Court concluded that Deborah’s death was as a result of suicide to which neglect contributed. The narrative conclusion said “there was a failure in the system to offer one to one care after Deborah had been assesses to be in need of admission to hospital under section 2 of the mental health act and this factor contributed to her death and amounted to neglect.”
Ahmet said: “The woman in crisis on the night Deborah died was not the person my family and I knew Deborah to be. She was a highly intelligent and caring woman who dedicated her life to helping others and was devoted to our children.
“She was let down by those who were supposed to help her in the most desperate moments of her life and while the inquest’s findings won’t repair the damage done to our family, we hope it will spur the Trust to making effective changes to ensure no one else comes to harm.”
At the time of her death Deborah had been unable to eat or sleep properly for some months, but had no history of mental illness.
Expert Opinion“This has been an incredibly difficult time for Deborah’s family who had many unanswered questions regarding the care she received in the hours before her tragic death.
“The conclusion of neglect clearly shows that the level of care Deborah received was totally unacceptable.
“Now that lessons from Deborah’s death have been identified, we hope Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust will address failings to prevent similar tragedies." Alisha Puri - Solicitor
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