Hospital staff cleared of negligence

Staff at St Mary’s hospital in Newport on the Isle of
Wight where a patient with mental health problems committed suicide
have been cleared of negligence, writes Clare

Louise Fryer-Atmen threw herself from a balcony at St
Mary’s hospital just a week after she graduated from Plymouth
University, an inquest on the Isle of Wight heard.

The 24-year-old had been treated at the accident and emergency
department of the hospital following a suicide attempt but was
waiting to be assessed at the neighbouring Seven Acres Mental
Health Unit at the time of her death in December 2003.

Fryer-Atmen was admitted to the hospital on 22 December after
she had slit her wrists and throat and taken an overdose of
painkillers. She was seen at A and E but the wounds needed

She did not receive an assessment from mental health staff when
she arrived at the hospital as she was deemed medically unfit to
and also as she had been given valium to calm her down.

Isle of Wight coroner John Matthews recorded an open verdict. He
said: “I find there is no neglect by staff or with the
system. If an assessment had taken place, it would not have
guaranteed her safety if she was determined to kill

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