Before HM Assistant Coroner Rachel Galloway
Bolton Coroners Court, Paderborn House, Bolton, BL1 1QY

Opens 1 October 2019, expect to last 8 days
 
Lauren Finch was 23 years old when she died on 24 September 2018 at the Royal Bolton Hospital. She was found hanging one week prior to her death in her room on the Westleigh Ward, Atherleigh Park Hospital, where she was detained under the Mental Health Act (section 2). The inquest into her death opens on Tuesday.

Lauren was from Wigan in Lancashire. She loved animals and had been studying at university with a view to becoming a veterinary nurse. Her family described her as an intelligent, beautiful, caring and kind girl. Lauren had hundreds of friends who all attended her funeral and wake. She had a history of mental ill health and had diagnoses of depression, anxiety and ‘emotionally unstable personality disorder’ (EUPD).

On 16 September, the day before she was found hanging, Lauren was restrained by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officers after absconding from the mental health ward. When she was returned to the ward she was reported to have been upset and tearful and had sustained painful bruising.

The family hope the inquest will explore:

  • the management of Lauren’s EUPD;
  • Lauren’s discharges from hospital and care in the community;
  • circumstances surrounding Lauren being able to abscond from hospital;
  • risk assessments, observations and record keeping
  • police involvement with Lauren, including the day prior to her being found hanging;
  • and the emergency response on 17 September.

Lauren’s family said: “The pain of losing Lauren is unbearable and we miss her every day. We hope that the inquest will provide us with the answers as to why Lauren was not kept safe within a mental health unit.”

Alice Stevens of Broudie Jackson Canter solicitors said: “Lauren’s death is a tragedy and I hope that her inquest will help answer some of the questions her family have about the circumstances surrounding her death.  The fact that there was police contact so close to Lauren’s death is a concern which clearly needs to be thoroughly investigated in the inquest. I hope that the Trust and Police will look carefully at their involvement with Lauren and make every effort to address the family’s concerns at the inquest.

Selen Cavcav, senior caseworker at INQUEST said: “This is a highly disturbing case. We hope that the inquest will not only interrogate how Lauren came to die in a hospital where she should have been safe, but also how the police officers treated her in the day prior to her death when she was at her most vulnerable.”
 
ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

For further information, to note your interest or request a photo of Lauren, please contact Sarah Uncles and Selen Cavcav at [email protected]t.org.uk; [email protected].

The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Alice Stevens and Lauren Bailey of Broudie Jackson Canter Solicitors and Kate Stone Garden Court North Chambers.

The other interested persons represented at the inquest are Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation trust.
 
For information and advice on how to safely report on self-inflicted deaths, please look at the Samaritans Media Guidelines for reporting suicide and self-harm.