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Parents hit out at care; Daughter died after complaint.


JUST days after a worried dad complained about his daughter's mental health care, she died in a cliff fall, an inquest heard.

Melanie Teasdale, who suffered a personality disorder, was killed after plunging from cliffs near Marsden Grotto, in South Shields, in May 2007.

The 31-year-old began suffering mental health problems after breaking up with her partner who she'd been living with and who she met thrr ough a dating agency in Scotland, but their relationship was traumatic.

Ms Teasdale is thought to have suffered abuse and the relationship ended.

After that, her mental health deteriorated and she was admitted to the Bede wing at South Tyneside District Hospital in 2005, where she stayed for 18 months.

During her stay, she was given medication, had sessions with a psychologist and was also given electric shock treatment twice. But her condition did not improve and she tried to self harm several times.

Her care team, of eight to 10 people including a consultant psychiatrist, psychologist, nurses and a care co-ordinator, felt Ms Teasdale needed treatment in a more structured environment.

She was developing a dependency on the Bede wing, which doctors felt was harming her progress.

The team found a place for her in Cheshire, and her parents, William and Susan Kidd, of Washington, backed the move.

But the transfer did not go ahead after the primary care trust said funding had not been allocated.

It was then decided to gradually help Ms Teasdale live in the community . A plan was put in place and she was given accommodation in South Shields. She was initially given escorted leave, followed by unescorted leave and finally overnight stays and told she could return to the hospital whenever she wanted and contact staff on the phone. She also had visits from her care co-ordinator and other mental health workers, as well as reviews with doctors.

In addition, she was due to visit a specialist unit in Newcastle dealing with personality disorders.

But on May 16, 2007 she plunged from the top of the cliffs in Marsden.

Mr Kidd told an inquest their daughter had not been ready to live in the community. He said: "It just did not seem to be the right thing to do. We thought she was discharged too quickly.

"Susan had several distressing phone calls from Melanie. There were incidents of self harm. She was still so ill. She could not cope in the community."

Mrs Kidd added: "During the last few weeks of her life, she was constantly on the phone and constantly crying.

Every time she phoned she was in tears."

On May 14 that year, Mr Kidd wrote a letter of complaint to health care watchdogs in which he detailed his views and said he feared his daughter would kill herself.

Two days later, she was dead.

Dr Neeraj Berry, consultant psychiatrist, said there were peaks and troughs in Ms Teasdale's condition. She displayed low moods but on occasions also reacted positively.

The inquest continues.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 19, 2011
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