Fieldfisher Solicitors represented Mrs McInulty’s husband, Terence McInulty and her daughter, Marie Coulter in relation to the inquest into the death of Mrs McInulty. The inquest was reopened on 2 April 2013 and concluded with the Coroner, Mr Andrew Walker, recording a narrative verdict.
The inquest found there were ‘failures at every level’ in the care of Sheila McInulty, 64, who died from a lethal overdose of prescription medication in February 2011.
Sheila McInulty had made a number of suicide attempts since 2006 when following a traumatic event she began suffering from an acute episode of psychotic depression. A psychiatrist report recommended extended rehabilitation for the grandmother, with the aim that she would be able to return home. However, a funding decision by NHS Barnet and Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust meant that Mrs McInulty was discharged home early from the Mountview residential unit in Northwood.
The Coroner in the narrative verdict concluded:
“In a performance review in July 2009 Mrs McInulty was identified as one of two patients whose care was over budget and the senior commissioning manager for NHS Barnet suggested that were they to be discharged early it would have a significant benefit on performance…..There was ample evidence available from the clinical staff that to move Mrs McInulty from the residential care home was not in Mrs McInulty’s interest and for her to move out may cause harm and interrupt the well thought out rehabilitation care package." The Coroner found that Mrs McInulty’s death was contributed to by neglect.
Fieldfisher Solicitors Said:
“Mrs McInulty’s death and the information that has subsequently come out regarding her care has made this a difficult and distressing time for my clients. They welcome this inquest which carefully examined what happened. They are pleased with the verdict recorded by the Coroner. A decision about whether a patient should be discharged and when such a discharge takes place should be driven only by what is right for that patient’s care and never by a need to make budget cuts."
Marie Coulter, Mrs McInulty’s daughter, adds:
"My mum just wanted to get better and she was getting there until that fatal decision in September 2010. The last two years have been a difficult and emotional journey into finding the truth about my mum's death and I am relieved it's all over. We are now trying desperately to rebuild our lives and to try to make sense of how this trail of catastrophic failures in her care were allowed to happen and why. I hope that my mum's death will not be in vain and that positive changes will be made so that this can never happen to another family ever again."
For further information or if you would like to talk about legal representation please get in touch with one of our specialist solicitors via the contact details below. All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including legal aid and no win, no fee.
Contact us on freephone 0800 358 3848
Or start your claim online.
"The group is praised for its commitment to 'demystifying the legal process' while this is a firm for which the client has always been a priority"
Fieldfisher has successfully been recognised as an "Occupation and Asbestos Disease Specialists" Fieldfisher are now recognised as assessors
Charities we support
Becky Tyler cerebral palsy settlement: 'I'm angry about what happened to my brain'
Following an approval hearing last week for an interim settlement agreed with Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, 15-year old Becky Tyler spoke out on the BBC about what it is like living with cerebral palsy.
Blood test to predict premature birth welcomed with caution
New research published highlights the use of blood tests to assess the due date of babies and also the genetic likelihood of a baby being born prematurely.
NICE Guideline changes to red flag symptoms for diagnosing cauda equina syndrome
NICE have included new, more explicit symptoms for practitioners to look out for, and aid delays in diagnosis
Jeremy Hunt admits 'deeply flawed' patient safety with NHS staff 'terrified' to admit mistakes
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt combined positive news that the Prime Minister has finally committed to increasing NHS funding with an admission that he has failed to improve patient safety.