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Family of dead woman unhappy over care at Bradgate unit

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A coroner has said he is not convinced a young mum who fell to her death from the top of a multi-storey car park had intended to kill herself.

Donald Coutts-Wood said he could not record a verdict of suicide on Dione Brennan, who walked out of mental health unit and then fell from a ledge on the eighth floor of the John Lewis car park, in Leicester, on May 24 last year.

A three-day inquest at Leicester Town Hall had heard how Dione, from Glenfield, had been talked down from the same ledge seven days earlier.

The 25-year-old, who had a history of mental health problems, agreed to stay at the Bradgate unit at Glenfield Hospital to be assessed.

Doctors said Dione told them the visit to the car park on May 17 – eight days after Dione had given birth to a son, Pele – was a "cry for help".

At the end of the inquest yesterday, Mr Coutts-Wood said: "Due to the state of Dione's mental health at that time, it is not clear whether she intended to take her own life."

The inquest had heard that Dione was a voluntary patient on "general observations" on the day she walked out of Aston ward, the mother and baby section of the Bradgate unit.

Bosses at Leicestershire Partnership Trust, which runs Glenfield Hospital, said Dione had been regularly assessed at the unit and diagnosed with a personality disorder, but no mental illness, which is why she could come and go as she pleased.

However, bosses told the inquest changes had been made in the wake of Dione's death. They include the nurse in charge being consulted if a patient wants to leave the unit.

After the hearing, Dione's family, some of whom were wearing T-shirts bearing a photograph of her, said they were unhappy with the care she received at the Bradgate unit.

Dione's mother, Sandra Lloyd, said: "We all thought she would be in a place of safety at hospital but she was allowed to walk out.

"Me and her dad are looking after Pele and he is the reason we get up in the morning. Our daughter was bright and bubbly and will be missed forever."

In a statement after the inquest, Teresa Smith, acting divisional director for adult mental health services at Leicestershire Partnership Trust, said: "Our deepest sympathies are with Dione's family at this difficult time.

"The coroner has been absolutely clear in his verdict that the care we provided was appropriate and correct."

Louise Payne, senior midwife at Leicester's Hospitals, said: "Dione's death was absolutely tragic and our deepest sympathies are with her family.

"We agree with the coroner that the care provided by our maternity service was entirely appropriate but, regardless of this fact, we continue to improve the way we communicate with Leicestershire Partnership Trust."

Family of dead woman unhappy over care at Bradgate unit


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