Family hopes inquest will provide answers about death of Wigan woman found hanged at hospital

Lauren Finch
Lauren Finch

An inquest will begin next week into the death of a woman found hanged at a borough hospital.

Lauren Finch's family hopes the nine-day inquest will provide answers into what happened in the run-up to her death last year.

Ahterleigh Park Hospital

Ahterleigh Park Hospital

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The 23-year-old died on September 24, 2018 at Royal Bolton Hospital, one week after she was discovered in her room on Westleigh ward at Atherleigh Park Hospital in Leigh.

She had been detained there under the Mental Health Act (section two).

Lauren, who lived in Wigan, had been studying at university to become a veterinary nurse and her family described her as an intelligent, beautiful, caring and kind woman.

Hundreds of friends attended her funeral and wake and more than £2,000 was donated to an online fund-raiser in her memory.

She had a history of mental ill health and had been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD).

On September 16 last year - the day before she was found hanging - Lauren was restrained by police officers after absconding from the mental health ward. When she returned, she was reported to have been upset, tearful and had painful bruising.

Lauren's family hopes the inquest will explore: the management of her EUPD; discharges from hospital and care in the community; circumstances surrounding Lauren being able to abscond from hospital; risk assessments, observations and record keeping; police involvement with Lauren, including the day before her death; and the emergency response on September 17.

In a statement, Lauren’s family said: “The pain of losing Lauren is unbearable and we miss her every day. We hope that the inquest will provide us with the answers as to why Lauren was not kept safe within a mental health unit.”

Alice Stevens, of Broudie Jackson Canter solicitors, said: “Lauren’s death is a tragedy and I hope that her inquest will help answer some of the questions her family have about the circumstances surrounding her death.

"The fact that there was police contact so close to Lauren’s death is a concern which clearly needs to be thoroughly investigated in the inquest.

"I hope that the trust and police will look carefully at their involvement with Lauren and make every effort to address the family’s concerns at the inquest. ”

Selen Cavcav, senior caseworker at charity INQUEST, said: “This is a highly disturbing case. We hope that the inquest will not only interrogate how Lauren came to die in a hospital where she should have been safe, but also how the police officers treated her in the day prior to her death when she was at her most vulnerable.”

The inquest is scheduled to begin at Bolton Coroner's Court on Tuesday.