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Parents' tribute to daughter who ended her fight with anorexia

An inquest into Pip's death concluded on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: MEN Syndication

An inquest into the death of Pippa “Pip” McManus, 15, concluded this afternoon.

It found that she was formally an inpatient at the Priory Hospital Altrincham at the time of her death on December 9, 2015.

During the inquest the Priory said hers was one of the most severe cases of Anorexia they had seen.

The jury found that her death was a suicide, with the following contributory factors:

  • Inadequate community care and specialist post-discharge support for Pip and her family.
  • Failure to implement a timely care plan and lack of cohesiveness amongst agencies.
  • Inadequate communication of enhanced risk of suicide on discharge.

Pip's parents have issued this statement following the inquest:

Our beautiful daughter, Pip took her own life on 9 December 2015. She was just 15 years old. The tear in the thread of our family will never be mended. Pip spent her last three years fighting against anorexia, malnutrition, depression and self harm. We believe the failings in our daughter’s care from beginning to end resulted in her death.

Anorexia has the highest mortality rate attributed to any psychiatric illness (with as many as 40 deaths due to suicide). Too many of our children are dying from this terrible illness. Effective treatment is needed more quickly and if this had been available to our beautiful daughter maybe she would still be alive today. Maybe we would not have needed this inquest.

We do not want Pip’s life and suffering to have been in vain. Whenever she was able she tried to help others with similar conditions. We are planning to continue her good work through the Pip Foundation, in aid of The Anorexia and Bulimia Care Charity. We especially want to create a dedicated early intervention centre to help young people and their families called 'Pip’s Place'. Through this, Pip will never be forgotten, her memory will live on.

– Marie and Jim McManus, Pip’s parents

Pip's death has highlighted the issue of young people's mental health. Deborah Coles, Director of INQUEST, said: "Pip’s death has exposed a mental health system which pushed through the discharge of a highly vulnerable child without any of the support or care in place to make sure she would be safe. Her terrified family knew there was huge risk. Their concerns were dismissed and minimised throughout.

"INQUEST holds serious and ongoing concerns over the continuing lack of scrutiny and oversight of young deaths in mental health care. The Government has a moral and legal duty to ensure the safety of our children. Ministers must meet now with affected families to inform the urgent and necessary reform of the current system, to prevent further tragic deaths.”

A spokesperson for the Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We accept the findings of the inquest into Miss McManus’ death. We deeply regret any shortcomings which occurred in this case and would like to offer our apologies and sincere condolences to the family.

“In line with our commitment to providing safe and effective service, immediately following the incident an investigation was undertaken.

“We will take on board learning from the inquest to ensure we further improve our services.”