2 October 2020

Before HM Senior Coroner Robert Hunter
Chesterfield Coroner's Court*
Town Hall, Rose Hill, Chesterfield, S40 1LP
7 – 9 October 2020
Alison Henley was 53 years old when she died of an overdose at her home in Glossop, Derbyshire on 25 August 2016. She had been prescribed strong opiate pain medications due to a range of physical health conditions, and was also experiencing serious mental ill health. The inquest into her death opens next Wednesday 7 October.
Alison was a passionate fan of sport, including football and squash. For over 20 years Alison had worked at English Squash where she was a much loved member of staff. She ran the Squash Inter County Championships and was passionate about the sport, but had to leave due to her ill health. Her family describe her as a loving and fun sister, auntie and sister-in-law. Alison had also been a volunteer at Tameside General Hospital as a patient befriender.

Her family, who spoke and spent time with Alison regularly but lived a significant distance away in Norfolk, had been aware of Alison’s poor physical health, which required a range of prescription medication and two operations in the three years prior. However, they were not aware of the true extent of her mental ill health until after her death. Alison was engaged with mental health services at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, and had previously seriously self-harmed and overdosed, including weeks before her death. She had been diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, anxiety and depression and had spent significant time in the mental health unit in Tameside General Hospital.
The inquest into her death will examine the monitoring of Alison’s medication and physical healthcare, as well as the response to her mental ill health and previous suicide attempts by Tameside General Hospital, GPs and Community Psychiatric Nurses from Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust and Cohen’s Chemist.
In 2017 Alison’s sister, Kathryn Sault, and another bereaved family member set up a community group for people bereaved by suicide called Empathy, which continues to provide peer support for people around Norfolk, where they are based.



For further information, interview requests and to note your interest, please contact INQUEST Communications Team: 020 7263 1111 or [email protected][email protected]. A photo of Alison is available here.
*Due to COVID-19 restrictions, members of the public or media who wish to attend the inquest in person or receive the audio link must apply to the coroner in advance. [email protected]
Alison’s family are represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Clare Evans of McMillan Williams solicitors and Rachel Barrett of Cloisters Chambers. The family are supported by INQUEST caseworker Jasmine Leng.
Other Interested Persons represented are Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Trust, Alison’s GP, and Derbyshire County Council.

Journalists should refer to the Samaritans Media Guidelines for reporting suicide and self-harm. 

The coroner has not engaged Article 2 for this inquest. The family have not been given access to legal aid, despite the state funded representation of the NHS.