Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Woman who died after slimming pill overdose 'did not get appropriate care due to A&E overcrowding'

Bethany Shipsey died after taking an overdose of the slimming drug DNP. Credit: From family video

A young woman who died after taking an overdose of online diet pills did not receive appropriate care because the A&E department was too overcrowded, an inquest heard.

Bethany Shipsey, an animal rescue and welfare advocate, took the tablets containing the industrial substance DNP in February 2017.

But the 21-year-old from Worcester was "not considered a suicide risk" by mental health doctors despite previously taking 14 overdoses.

Ms Shipsey - known as Beth - was having ongoing treatment for mental health issues, linked to trauma from when she was raped by a previous partner, the inquest heard.

Bethany Shipsey's family were in court for her inquest. Credit: ITV News Central

An emergency junior doctor at Worcestershire Royal Hospital said he could not transfer her to the resuscitation room because the department was full.

Under questioning from Michael Walsh, representing Ms Shipsey's parents, Doug and Carole, the doctor said he should have consulted the Poisons department in order to fully understand a drug he had "never seen before".

At Worcestershire Coroner's Court, Dr Alireza Niroumand, who was an emergency junior medical doctor at the Worcestershire A&E department at the time, said:

Ms Shipsey was waiting at the end of the corridor because it (the department) was full of (patients in) beds waiting to be seen.

It was one of the busiest days I have seen at Worcestershire A&E of the few days that I had been working there.

I'm not a co-ordinator but we had probably been trying too hard.

– Dr Alireza Niroumand, emergency junior medical doctor

Dr Niroumand also said he did not use the database called "Toxbase" to learn about the drug because the files he needed had been given to him by a nurse.

An inquest heard how Bethany Shipsey was Credit: From family video

Dr Nirvana Chandrappa, a senior consultant psychiatrist from Worcestershire Health and Care, also gave evidence at the hearing.

He said:

I became aware that there was a suicide pact between her and her ex-partner.

I came to the view she had an emotionally unstable personality disorder.

– Dr Nirvana Chandrappa, senior consultant psychiatrist

After meeting her again in January 2017, Dr Chandrappa said 24 red and yellow diet pills were found in her jacket.

Dr Chandrappa continued:

I had spoken to her about the dangers of using the diet pills.

Ms Shipsey had informed us they were the pills she bought earlier, had stopped using them and had no intention of using them further.

In the same week we became aware that she was getting threatening messages.

– Dr Nirvana Chandrappa, senior consultant psychiatrist
Bethany Shipsey was an animal rescue and welfare advocate. Credit: From family video

On the day of the incident, Ms Shipsey had messaged a friend with "tear emojis" saying: "I have just overdosed on DNP. I'm petrified of telling anyone because it is like my 15th overdose."