Family And Medical Negligence Lawyers Support Suicide Prevention Campaign
Grieving relatives of a mum who took her life after mental health staff said she wasn’t “a suitable candidate for treatment” are supporting a major suicide prevention campaign.
Victoria Tsopurashvili and her family had sought medical advice after the mum-of-two developed mental health problems, including paranoia and suicidal thoughts.
During an appointment in November 2020 a nurse practitioner advised Victoria, of Leyton, East London, to attend accident and emergency. Victoria was seen at A&E and subsequently referred to Waltham Forest Early Intervention in Psychosis Service (WFEIPS) run by North East London NHS Foundation Trust.
However, a coroner’s report said health workers only assessed whether Victoria was suitable for treatment by the early intervention team. They “refused” her treatment and didn’t consider whether other services run by the Trust could help her, the report added.
Victoria, aged 52, was found hanging at home in April 2021. She was pronounced dead the following day after her husband Rompert Aroutinov aged 59, and children David, aged 34, and Angie, aged 27, took the very difficult decision, on the advice of doctors, to withdraw life support. She had suffered irreversible brain damage after being starved of oxygen.
Following an inquest into Victoria’s death, earlier this year coroner Graeme Irvine issued a prevention of future deaths report raising concerns about the treatment Victoria received under North East London NHS Foundation Trust and that other deaths may arise unless action was taken.
Victoria’s family have instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help them access the specialist support they require to try and come to term with Victoria’s death.
The family and their legal team are now marking World Suicide Prevention Day to speak for the first time about their loss and raise awareness of the support available.
Expert Opinion“Victoria was a much-loved wife, mum and grandma and while more than a year has passed since her death all her family remain devastated by what happened.
They’re still struggling to come to terms with the events that unfolded in the lead up to Victoria’s death and are determined for as many lessons as possible to be learned.
While the inquest identified concerning areas in Victoria’s care it’s vital that people with mental health issues and their families continue to seek help. World Suicide Prevention Day is an important reminder that people need not suffer alone and support is out there.
We continue to support Victoria’s family in their campaign so others don’t have to suffer the heartache her family has.”
Dami Oloyede - Solicitor
Victoria, a chef, started experiencing anxiety, unhappiness and difficulty sleeping towards the end of 2018.
Over the coming months she had several medical appointments and was prescribed anti-depressants.
During an appointment on 19 November, 2020, a nurse practitioner advised Victoria to attend hospital and made an urgent referral to WFEIPS.
Following an assessment in hospital a doctor also referred Victoria to WFEIPS.
On 30 November Victoria was seen by WFEIPS.
The prevention of future deaths report said that WFEIPS found Victoria “was not a suitable candidate for treatment, in hindsight, it appears that was a poor decision.”
The report added that “no consideration was given” to referring Victoria to another service run by the Trust.
Victoria was found hanging on 27 April, 2021, and died the following day.
Following her death, her family donated her organs.
Angie said: “Mum was always happy. Even after a hard day her positive energy made us all smile and kept us strong.
“But that changed when she started feeling down. To us it looked she was getting worse and we wanted to get her help so she could become more like the mum I knew. It feels like that didn’t happen.
“The decision to withdraw Mum’s life support is the hardest thing we’ll ever have to do and is something that I don’t think we’ll get over.
“What’s happened has turned our family upside down. Things will never be the same and my Dad is broken. Losing her in the way we did has only added to the grief and pain we continue to feel.
“Mum was the most positive person I knew. She was always smiling, always saw the best in people and went out of her way to help others. All she wanted for our family was happiness and health. That’s why we donated her organs so families can have what Mum wanted for us.
“Anyone can be affected by mental illness and it’s vital that people receive the care they need and they know that support is out there.
“We continue to have concerns over Mum’s death and whether more could have been done to help her. We just hope that by speaking out our family can help others before it’s too late.”
Victoria also leaves behind a grandson, Ilyas, age 6.
World Suicide Prevention Day is on 10 September. Find out more