In brief: Care failings, smartphones, and mental health training at work
Trigger warning: The following story regards loss of life and may be triggering for some.
Top story Vulnerable woman loses life due to care failings
Laura Winham, a 38-year-old woman diagnosed with schizophrenia, was tragically found dead in her home by her older brother, where she had been for three years.
Her family had little contact with her due to the difficulty of her condition, but they believed she was receiving appropriate support for her illness.
The family became suspicious when they received no contact from Laura and she stopped replying to them reaching out for an extended period of time.
It is believed that Laura died in November 2017, a few weeks after police had visited her flat over a report that she had been self-neglecting, not purchasing food, and was unaware of how to access care services.
In 2016, Laura had her disability living allowance stopped by the Department for Work and Pensions as she failed to respond to their letters telling her to re-apply for its replacement, while her gas was also cut off.
Despite the difficulty in contacted her, no determined attempts to establish Laura's wellbeing were made.
Nicky, Laura's sister, labelled the lack of attempts from social care, mental health services and social landlords as "turning a blind eye" to the situation.
“Everybody who was in contact with Laura and had a duty to her at some stage simply wiped their hands of her and forgot her. She was abandoned and left to die,” said Nicky.
“No one should have to suffer the way Laura did due to the lack of support given to her mental health. We now must live with the devastating sadness of what has happened, and we are sharing our story because we do not want any other families to suffer in this way.”
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