Inquest into woman's death at Manchester hospital abandoned
An inquest into the death of a woman being detained at a psychiatric hospital near Stockport has been abandoned.
Lauren Bridges, 20, was found unconscious in a bathroom at the Priory’s Cheadle Royal Hospital on February 24 2022.
She was taken to Wythenshawe Hospital and placed on life-support where she later died.
Originally from Bourenemouth, her family travelled almost 300 miles to come and see her before the decision was made to turn off her life support.
A jury at an inquest into her death had been sworn in at South Manchester Coroners’ Court in Stockport and had heard two days of evidence.
However, on Wednesday 22 February, before evidence was heard on the third day of proceedings, all parties were called into court and told the inquest “could no longer continue.”
Assistant coroner Andrew Bridgman told the jury of six women and five men: "We have been having discussions with the legal teams about how best to finalise matters, and this inquest can no longer continue, and you are discharged.
"It's nothing that has happened at your end or in relation to the warnings I gave you. It's how matters have developed over the last few days.
"This hearing has been adjourned, abandoned, and will be re-listed on another date to be determined within the calendar year 2023."
He added it would be re-listed “for a longer period of time.”
The inquest had been told that Lauren had a diagnosis of Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
She was transferred from a rehabilitation unit at the Priory's Dorking hospital to a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) at the privately-run Cheadle Priory in July 2021 despite strong objections from her family.
By September 2021 she had improved and was deemed to be “ready to step down onto an acute unit closer to home.”
However, by February 2022 she was still at the hospital, a six-hour drive from the family home in Dorset, and was demonstrating “escalating behaviours' and was becoming 'increasingly distressed”, it was heard.
Giving evidence her mother, Lindsey Bridges, described her daughter as a “beautiful person inside and out” and said she “brought so much joy to everyone who loved and knew her.”
She said “significant concerns” about her care at the Cheadle Priory and felt ultimately her daughter had been “failed by the mental health system.”
A pre-inquest review hearing in the case is to be held next week.