West Lane: Daughter adds to calls for public inquiry after trust 'missed opportunities' to save dad

Calls for a public inquiry into the running of a North East NHS trust are growing following a damning report into the deaths of three teenagers who died under its care.

An independent investigation found there had been 120 failures in the care of Christie Harnett, Nadia Sharif and Emily Moore.

The three teenagers took their own lives in hospitals run by the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys (TEWV) NHS trust. Their families say the only way real change can happen is through a public inquiry.

It is a call that has been echoed by MPs in the House of Commons, as well as the families of others who have taken their own lives while under the care of the trust.

Among them is Olivia Fawcett, from Middlesbrough, whose father Andrew died in September 2019 - the same year Christie and Nadia died.

The father-of-three had a history of alcohol dependency.

At an inquest into his death earlier this year, a coroner said the family had been failed and  there were missed opportunities to help him. 

Ms Fawcett, 23, said: "I wouldn’t want children of someone else to go through what we have had to go through."

A young Olivia with her dad, Andrew. Credit: Family

Mr Fawcett, 40, was referred to the mental health crisis team on 10 September 2019 after the bricklayer told his family he was feeling suicidal.

He was admitted to Roseberry Park mental health hospital in Middlesbrough on 12 September. 

That same day he was allowed home on leave with the agreement he could return at any time.

On 15 September Mr Fawcett called the crisis team asking to return to hospital.

The inquest heard staff wrongly believed he had been discharged. He had been drinking and was told to “sleep it off” and they would speak the following day.

However, that never happened as he was found dead at home, having taken his own life.

Ms Fawcett said: “I can't explain the feeling. I felt like I was in slow motion."

She added: "The hard reality of it is your dad is no longer here.

"If he had been seen and he had got the help that Sunday he would be here today."

The inquest heard Mr Fawcett  had made four calls to the crisis team the day before he died, and the risk assessment carried out on phone has been “insufficient”.

The coroner said there had been "missed opportunities" to offer further support.

Ms Fawcett added: "My dad was never somebody that asked for help. He knew he needed it but he never went and sought it himself.

"To build up so much courage to ring them to go back to a place he was petrified of because he knew he needed the help and to be ignored, it’s devastating really to listen to."

A spokesperson for TEWV said: "Our thoughts are with Andrew’s family as they continue to come to terms with their devastating loss.

"We would welcome the opportunity to meet with them to listen to their concerns and answer any questions they may have about his care."

Ms Fawcett is campaigning for a public inquiry into how the trust is run.

She said: "There’s nothing that I could do at the time to help him. It was beyond what I could have done to help him. So if there is anything I can do now for him that is what I am doing it for."