The parents of a woman who took her own life after she was released from a mental health unit are angry that they were not told she had been allowed to leave.
Sarah Moore had told staff at the Radbourne Unit in Derby that she felt suicidal up to 25 times before she was discharged in February this year. She was found dead hours later.
Her parents have expressed their disbelief that she was allowed to go despite having repeatedly told medics of her plans.
Medical notes show Ms Moore, 27, had spoken of suicidal thoughts to staff at the centre from January this year onwards.
She then repeatedly told medics of her plans to take her own life, and even said she carried a suicide note in her pocket.
Despite this, she was deemed to be a ‘low risk of completed suicide’ when she was discharged at around 11.30am on February 19. The following day she was found dead in a park.
Mr Moore said: ‘As soon as I heard the knock on that door I knew Sarah had died. I said to the officers ‘Sarah has died, hasn’t she?’
‘I don’t understand how we had been sat at home unaware our daughter had been discharged and let out into the world on her own.
‘This was a very depressed woman who clearly wanted to take her own life. She’d given the staff there plenty of warning, as the notes show. Why were we not told?
‘We’re her parents. I cannot understand how they can let her go and we don’t know anything about it. When would we have found out if she had not taken her life?’
Mr Moore and Sarah’s mother Diane have been told that they were not told because of patient confidentiality, but now want a change in the law to allow the families of people with mental health issues to be kept in the loop about their care.
Mr Moore added: ‘How an earth was she discharged? It was obvious what her plan was. They recorded it often enough, they knew she wanted to take her own life, yet they let her out and that’s what she did.
‘We’re horrified at what these medical notes show. It’s absolutely disgusting that there was so many warnings from Sarah that she wanted to leave and take her own life.
‘Then they discharged her. How on earth would they think that was a good idea? It’s there in black and white, they were discharging her, yet on the day that happened they thought she was indicating she was going to take her own life.’
A spokesman for the NHS trust behind the centre said: ‘Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust recognises the value and importance of family engagement and we strive to involve family members in the care and treatment of our service users wherever possible.
‘When it is not possible to achieve this, the trust has a duty to respect the wishes of those who use our services, including discussions around their discharge from hospital.
‘Maintaining people’s confidentiality is very important and enshrined in law, as it gives people the courage to come forward and be open about their health issues, safe in the knowledge that information will not be disclosed without their consent.’