Husband's anger over train tragedy

A MOTHER-OF-TWO from Northampton, who suffered from depression, took her life after walking out of a mental health hospital unsupervised.

Lynne Frankland, who lived in Plough Lane, Spring Park, walked in front of a train at Church Brampton on October 1 last year.

On the morning of her death, the 40-year-old, who was being treated at St Crispin Hospital, managed to leave her ward without staff noticing.

The hospital has since improved procedures and security in the ward, after an investigation into Mrs Frankland's case threw up several shortcomings.

Speaking at an inquest yesterday at Northampton General Hospital, her husband, Dale, said: "I was angry Lynne could just walk out of the hospital, because I always had to be let in and out."

Mrs Frankland, who had a long history of depression, was admitted as a voluntary patient to the hospital in September last year, after several suicide attempts over the summer.

On September 27, Mrs Frankland saw Dr Agastya Dev Nayar, a consultant psychiatrist, who advised her to seek treatment at the hospital and placed her on a high level of observation.

However, on admission, staff at the Pendered South Unit at St Crispin Hospital, who did not see the consultant's recommendation, placed her on a lower level of observation because she did not appear severely depressed or give any indication she would self-harm.

Eileen Kelly, the director of mental health at Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Trust, told the inquest staff thought a general level of observation was appropriate, because Mrs Frankland engaged quite well with other patients, staff and her treatment plan.

Following the investigation into her death, the health trust has altered the windows on the ward, because it was not known if Mrs Frankland climbed out of a window or walked through the doors.

Risk documentation forms have also been improved.

At the inquest Anne Pember, coroner for Northamptonshire, recorded a verdict of suicide.

mark.waffel@northantsnews.co.uk