29 April 2024

This is a media release by Irwin Mitchell, reshared by INQUEST

An inquest into the death of a young woman who spent 13 months in a Priory mental health hospital is due to start. 

Amina Ismail was found fatally injured in her room on the Pankhurst Ward, a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU), at Priory Hospital Cheadle Royal near Stockport on 15 September, 2023. Emergency services were called but she was pronounced dead shortly afterwards. 

The 20-year-old, originally from Balsall Heath, Birmingham, had been detained in the privately-owned Priory Group hospital under the Mental Health Act since August 2022. She had been known to mental health services since the age of 15. 

Amina was detained on at least seven different mental health wards between 2019 and 2023, all of which were out-of-area placements.  

Following Amina’s death, her parents Ahmed and Roda, instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help support them through an inquest and secure answers.

Amina’s family have now spoken for the first time about their “devastating” loss.

Alexander Terry is the specialist public law and human rights lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the family.

Speaking ahead of the inquest, he said:“Amina’s story is yet another tragedy involving a young woman with complex mental health needs losing her life while detained miles from her home and her family.

“Amina is also one of a number of young people to die in recent years while staying at Priory Cheadle Royal. She was an out-of-area patient and under the care of the Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

“Like other families we represent who have lost a loved one in similar circumstances, Ahmed and Roda, have many questions and concerns about the care their daughter received and the circumstances surrounding her death.

“The coroner has ruled that the inquest will consider: the length of Amina’s stay on the PICU, the effect of that stay on Amina’s mental health, the safety of the ward environment, the treatment that Amina was receiving, the emergency response, the availability of specialist placements and how commissioning decisions were made in Amina’s case.

“While nothing can ever make up for the anguish and pain they’re suffering, we will do all we can to help the family obtain truth and accountability.

“Deaths of those detained by the state require the most robust scrutiny. The family now look to the coroner to hold a full and fearless investigation into Amina’s death.”

Amina, who had been diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and disordered eating, was admitted to Priory Cheadle Royal’s Pankhurst Ward, a PICU, in August 2022. 

At the time of her death Amina’s care plan required her to be observed at least every 15-minutes. At the time of her death, Amina had been on the ward 13 months and was awaiting discharge.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Amina’s father, Ahmed, said: “Amina was a wonderful daughter and sister. She was very gifted and had ambitions of becoming a nurse or a paramedic. She also enjoyed art, especially painting.

“The last year was a real struggle for Amina. She was miles away from home and despite us visiting and supporting her as much as we could, we felt she was isolated. All we desperately wanted was to at least to get her closer to home and then back to her family.   

“It’s almost impossible to describe the hurt and pain we’re going through following Amina’s death. She had her whole life ahead of her and it devastates us that she’s no longer with us and she’ll never get to fulfil her potential and ambitions. 

“We’d do anything to have Amina back in our lives but we know that’s not possible. 

“We have so many unanswered questions about what happened to Amina but also real concerns that our family don’t appear to be alone and there are other families who’ve experienced the death of a loved one while detained in this hospital and other similar hospitals.  

“We’re committed to honouring Amina’s memory by establishing the answers she deserves.” 

Amina also leaves behind five siblings including her twin brother.

An inquest into Amina’s death is due to start at Stockport Coroner’s Court on Monday, 29 April. It is expected to last up to three weeks. 

Amina’s family will be represented by Kate Stone of Garden Court North. 


Notes to Editors

For further information, pictures and interview requests please contact the Irwin Mitchell press office on 0114 274 4666.

About Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell provides legal and financial services to businesses and individuals operating from 18 locations across the UK. 

The firm is ranked as a market-leading legal services firm in the independent Legal 500 and Chambers UK guides to UK law with over 250 lawyers personally recommended.

Irwin Mitchell Scotland LLP is a separate Scottish legal practice regulated by the Law Society of Scotland and has an office in Glasgow.

In January 2024 Irwin Mitchell announced an investment in Scottish law firm Wright, Johnston and Mackenzie which will the see the two firms work in collaboration to help their clients on both sides of the border.

For more information visit www.irwinmitchell.com