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Suffolk mental health trust to take 'new approach' after death of 'kindest' woman Sarah Peart at Ipswich home

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A mental health trust has said it will be introducing a new personality disorder strategy after one of its former patients took her own life, an inquest has heard today.

The hearing at Suffolk Coroner's Court was told that 30-year-old Sarah Peart was found dead at her Ipswich home on August 14 last year, at a time when she had been waiting for a referral for specialist treatment for her borderline personality disorder and eating disorder.

The court heard that in early 2020, Ms Peart discharged herself from the Integrated Delivery Team (IDT) services at Mariner House where she had received help for her mental health issues for about four years.

The inquest was held at Suffolk Coroners Court in Ipswich today. Picture by Mark Westley
The inquest was held at Suffolk Coroners Court in Ipswich today. Picture by Mark Westley

But a couple of months later in April, she was assessed by the crisis team, who referred her back to the IDT mental health team.

It was at this stage that her GP team applied for funding for Ms Peart to receive specialist treatment for personality disorders.

By July, her GP said she was 'concerned' by Ms Peart's weight loss and she was again referred to the IDT team.

Ms Peart was assessed and rated as an 'amber' risk, as although she had stated that she had suicidal thoughts, she said she would not act on them as she didn't want to hurt her family.

The inquest was told that the main concern at this time was Ms Peart's bulimia.

Her mother Sonia Peart told the court that she had saved money for her daughter to have private treatment, but they were waiting until after the pandemic ended so Ms Peart could be treated in person.

But having not heard from Ms Peart in a few days, Mrs Peart went to her daughter's home in Wherstead Road on August 14.

After forcing the door open, paramedics were called to the property but Ms Peart was declared dead at 11.45am.

Mrs Peart said her daughter, who was born in Newmarket, had over the last year of her life been 'determined to improve her life'.

She added that she had made plans for the coming days, as she had an MOT due and was planning to go to the zoo.

"These are not the actions of someone planning to end her life," she said.

"We had discussed suicide and she said she would never do that. It's not something she would put her family through."

Mrs Peart questioned why she had not been made aware of more details of her daughter's care.

Winsom Robotham, service director for the East Suffolk Care Group with Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT), which runs the IDT, said a more 'family-focused approach' was part of the new personality disorder strategy being implemented later this year.

The organisation is also ensuring it has more regular conversations with IDT about referrals to 'stop them being moved from one service to another to streamline the pathway'.

Ms Robotham said: "We acknowledge that Ms Peart would have benefitted from specialist personality disorder treatment and we should have made that referral, as opposed to asking the GP to do it."

In a statement read to the court, Ms Peart's partner Zebulem Bambridge Kiddy said she was the 'kindest human' but was 'scared' and 'didn't want to die'.

He said that being told to wait for the referral for specialist treatment was 'difficult' for her.

"She felt like she was left in limbo," he added.

"She was suffering and struggling to see any light at the end of the tunnel."

Assistant coroner for Suffolk Tim Deeming said a post-mortem examination showed that Ms Peart had alcohol in her bloodstream at the time of her death.

The coroner said that while he was satisfied that Ms Peart took her own life and there was no third party involvement, he could not find that she had the intent to do so, and so he did not rule that it was suicide.

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