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Calls to improve mental health services in Islington by bereaved parents

Kids need help, say parents who lost their daughter

14 September, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

Inquest looked into the death of 17-year-old Eloise Land from Finsbury Park 

THE parents of a “lively and intelligent” Finsbury Park teenager called for improvements in mental health services at an inquest into their daughter’s death.

Adam Land and Lucinda Hart praised the work of NHS staff who cared for 17-year-old Eloise Land during her three years of mental illness.

She died after being hit by a train at Crouch Hill station in April while home for the weekend from a mental health unit.

The coroner concluded that she had taken her own life and a serious case review is currently taking place.

At an inquest at St Pancras Coroner’s Court, the couple raised three areas that they believe need urgent improvement to “prevent other families from having to go through a similar experience”.

They want more local mental health inpatient beds after their daughter was sent two hours away to Oxford from their home for eight months of treatment, before being moved to a unit in Edgware.

They also want more frequent direct contact from local mental health services with patients and better integration with in-patient treatment and community care. Finally, they say communication between the services

and the families and young people they look after needs improvement.

Mr Land told the inquest: “None of this will bring our wonderful daughter back, but we hope that NHS commissioners will look critically at the whole system and, by being prepared to identify and tackle shortcomings, improvements will be made that can help save other young people’s lives.”

They also thanked the NHS for caring for their “beautiful” daughter with “dedication and compassion”.

The inquest heard changes had been made including more support for children with autism, more evening nursing and clearer communication.

Senior Coroner Mary Hassell said: “It’s clear to me they are trying to improve services and I hope that they have been given food for thought today about how they can improve them further.”

She questioned whether Eloise was “so poorly” that even if she had not taken her life that weekend, she may have done so in the weeks after.

Ms Hassell said there are “much bigger” systemic questions about the care that is offered to young people.

“I’m very sorry to say that the examination of mental health care is something that I undertake more and more frequently and I do not know why that is,” said Ms Hassell.

“I do not know why we seem to have such a deterioration in the mental health of young people but that’s how it appears to me from my experience.”

A spokesman for Islington Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We would like to offer our condolences to Eloise’s family and friends at this very difficult time.

“Islington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is committed to developing and improving health and care services. A Serious Case Review is currently in progress, which will identify learning. The CCG will be examining and taking for- ward the learning and rec- ommendations from the review. At present, it is premature to make further comment.”

Tributes to Eloise can be left at www.eloise-land.muchloved.com

Anyone struggling or affected by this story can call the Samaritans free of charge on 116 123 for confidential support.

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