My daughter Katharine (Kate) died in March 2015 whilst an inpatient at The Dene Psychiatric Hospital in West Sussex. Kate died of sudden heart failure alone in the middle of the night and, although she had been previously physically unwell, staff had failed to check on her and their eventual attempts to resuscitate her proved too late.

Kate’s inquest finally took place in November 2019, delayed by a fruitless police investigation into both Kate’s and 2 other female patients deaths at The Dene in 2015.

Despite a career in both the statutory and non statutory voluntary and community sector, I had no comprehension of the minefield that is the inquest process following the death of a loved one whilst in the care of the state. Without INQUEST, our case-worker and a successful bid for Exceptional Case Funding, we would never have been able to navigate the 4 years of countless pre-inquest reviews and 3 changes of Coroner.

I am now keen to be able to give whatever support I can to other families and their loved ones who are on this torturous journey.