Woman Died After Becoming Convinced Cosmetic Pen Had Left Her Scarred
The family of a mum who died after becoming convinced that a cosmetic pen she had used to smooth out wrinkles on her lip had left her scarred, have spoken out following an inquest into her death.
Tina Rainford, from West London, took her own life after a short battle with mental health problems. At the time she was under the care of South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust after two previous suicide attempts.
Following the 43-year-old’s death her family instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care Tina received and support them through an inquest into her death.
Tina’s family and their legal team at Irwin Mitchell have now called for lessons to be learned from her death. It comes after an inquest was told that Tina was left without contact from health professionals for two weeks before she died because of staff holidays. It had been agreed she would receive weekly visits.
A coroner found Tina’s psychiatric care was “disjointed,” its co-ordination was “suboptimal” and there was a “missed opportunity” for health workers to contact her before her death.
Expert Opinion“This is an incredibly tragic case and reliving the events of what happened in the lead up to Tina’s death has been incredibly difficult for Tina’s loved ones.
“The family had a number of concerns about the care Tina received before her death and sadly some of the evidence heard during the inquest has validated this.
“We now join Tina’s family in calling for the NHS Trust to learn lessons from this case to improve patient care.” Louise Forsyth - Senior Associate Solicitor
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling medical negligence cases
Tina, of Hounslow, developed changes in behaviour from around June 2017, when she became convinced that a cosmetic pen had left her scarred despite being reassured to the contrary by her family, an inquest at West London Coroner’s Court was told.
She took an overdose on 28 July, 2017. Following hospital treatment she was discharged. Three days later she took a further overdose and jumped out of the window of her second-floor flat, suffering extensive injuries including a broken leg.
She was discharged from hospital on 14 August with an outpatient appointment to see a psychiatrist arranged for 11 September. This was brought forward to 30 August after concerns were raised by her partner Simon Wetherall. Around this time Tina was also allocated a care coordinator, with the last review taking place on 8 September.
Tina was found dead on 21 September, 2017.
A care co-ordinator filled in brief details of their last contact with Tina then completed more detailed notes retrospectively following her death, the hearing heard.
Dr Sean Cummings, Assistant Coroner, recorded a narrative conclusion in which he said Tina “developed an obsessive and delusional belief she was disfigured by an inconsequential beauty treatment.”
There was a “missed opportunity to be proactive in contacting Tina in the last weeks of her life,” the coroner ruled.
However, a root cause analysis report published by the Trust following her death found these shortcomings did not cause Tina’s death.
Following the conclusion of the inquest, Tina’s father Ian Rainford, 69, said: “The past few days have been incredibly difficult for the whole family, but the hearing has raised some very important issues regarding the support that Tina received.
“Our family believe that Tina’s serious suicide attempt wasn’t taken seriously enough. Jumping out of a window is a very dramatic act and more should have been done to protect her.
“We remain devastated by our loss but determined to ensure that lessons are learned so that the issues she faced are simply never repeated in the future.”
Simon, 45, added: “Despite all the reassurances we gave her, Tina became more and more convinced that she was disfigured and this was simply not the case. We wanted her to receive the help we felt she deserved but felt that her case was not treated with enough urgency.
“Our only hope now is that the heartbreak we have suffered highlights the need for those with mental health issues to receive swift treatment.
“We hope that the Trust continue to learn from the issues which have been highlighted at inquest to ensure other families are spared the pain we have to endure on a daily basis.”