West Lane: 'Changes won't happen' at NHS trust until public inquiry, according to bereaved mother

Jean Zaremba's daughter, Zoe, was being treated by the trust facing renewed calls for an inquiry following a damning report into its failures. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees/Family

A North Yorkshire woman whose daughter died under the care of a mental health trust says changes will not happen unless there is a public inquiry.

Jean Zaremba's daughter, Zoe, was being treated by the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys (TEWV) NHS trust which is facing renewed calls for an inquiry following a damning report into the deaths of three teenagers.

Christie Harnett, Nadia Sharif and Emily Moore had been patients at West Lane Hospital in Middlesbrough before taking their own lives within months of each other. An investigation uncovered 120 failures in their care.

Ms Zaremba, from Bedale, also lost her daughter to suicide whilst she was in the care of the trust.

She said: "It's just heartbreaking. Every day I just feel sick and I think what could have been.

"I believe there should be a public inquiry because as has been shown in the past with many other things, like the Hillsborough Disaster, unless there has been a public inquiry, changes won't happen."

Zoe Zaremba Credit: North Yorkshire Police

Zoe Zaremba, 25, had autism and took her own life in 2020.

An inquest heard she had been wrongly diagnosed with a personality disorder and had been discharged from hospital weeks before her suicide with no clear follow up plan.

Zoe's mother took her calls for a public inquiry to her MP Rishi Sunak before he became Prime Minister.

He wrote to the Department of Health, who recently informed Ms Zaremba a public inquiry is already taking place into mental health services in Essex and the conclusion of that report would spread out to other trusts.

Health minister Maria Caulfield told the House of Commons on Thursday (3 November) a public inquiry would not be ruled out, but if it happened it would have to be on a national basis.

Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald, who attended the urgent question in Parliament, said: "It's important that we do have that public inquiry. I'm not saying that should be about these three deaths exclusively.

"I think we need to look at the wider picture about the provision of mental health services more broadly but this terrible episode has got to inform any such inquiry."

The Government and the TEWV trust have apologised for "unacceptable failings" and the trust says changes have been made.

Ms Zaremba added: "We have lost so many people already through suicide both in the hospitals and in the community that they need to put things in place.

"This has been put off for so long."

A decision on an inquiry will be made over the coming days.