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  1. ITV Report

Annette Hewins' family say she was 'let down by those who were supposed to help her'

Credit: Mirrorpix

The family of Annette Hewins said their mother was "let down by those who were supposed to help her."

The family were speaking after an inquest into their mother's death.

The mother-of-five became a heroin addict after being wrongly convicted of being involved in the deaths of a young family from Merthyr Tydfil in the 1990s.

In 1999, she was freed on appeal but experienced mental health problems after her conviction was quashed.

She became a heroin addict and was detained under the Mental Health Act two years ago.

She died a day after she was admitted to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital.

At the end of three day inquest the coroner ruled that Annette Hewins treatment plan at the hospital had been adequate and appropriate.

The coroner described her death as "sudden and unexpected." A post mortem showed that she had undiagnosed heart disease.

But the coroner said "it was not possible to say if the effect of being withdrawn from heroin played any part in what happened."

Annette Hewins family said they hope the Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board learns from the inquest Credit: ITV Archive - National Library of Wales

The inquest heard today how she had been put on four-hourly observations on the mental health ward, but that these were not always followed through and it heard that medical records of her condition while in hospital lacked detail.

In a statement the family said they hope the Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board "will act on the lessons learnt from this inquest."

Family say their mum was let down by those who were supposed to help her.

Our family find it difficult to understand the lack of observations mum had in hospital and that there appeared to be no guidance on how she should be cared for.

It is difficult to think that when our mum was at her most vulnerable and needed help she was let down by those who were supposed to help her.

All we can hope for now is that mum's death was not completely in vain and that new policies will be put in place to protect vulnerable patients.

– Family statement