THE family of a mother who threw herself under a train believe her life could have been saved if she she been admitted to hospital while she battled post-natal depression, an inquest heard.
On day two of the hearing into Emma Cadywould’s death in December 2011 on the railway line near South Marston, Eloise Power, counsel for the family, told Peter Hatvany, the assistant coroner for Wiltshire, the family believed a hospital admission at the height of her depression might have saved her life.
Wiltshire Coroner’s Court, in Salisbury, heard Emma had been referred to the Swindon Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team on October 18 2011, by her GP when her depressive state worsened .
From this date, Emma was assessed by members of this team at her home and adjudged to be in a fit enough state to remain at home and be treated from there, with medication and regular visits from mental health workers and health visitors.
Yesterday, the court heard from Dr Kola Ige, locum consultant psychiatrist with the CRHTT, who was asked by the family’s counsel why Emma was not admitted to a mother and baby unit, despite regularly admitting to suicidal thoughts, which included taking the life of her four-month-old son.
In his evidence, Dr Ige said: “I was being practical with regards the mother and baby unit being available.
“The reality of when I was working with the crisis team there was a four-bed mother and baby unit and they took referrals from every hospital in Wiltshire.
“The feedback I was getting told me that she was engaging with the crisis team and her treatment at home. There was also no evidence of previous self harm, only feelings.”
Dr Ige also said Emma had been offered hospital admission by one of his colleagues on December 14, two days before her death, but she had rejected the offer because it was too close to Christmas.
On Wednesday, Emma was described as a meticulous, organised individual, who relied upon routine.
On his own relationship with Emma as her psychiatrist, Dr Ige said he found her challenging and they had never found common ground on the medication she was taking.
He said: “She had, perhaps, unrealistic expectations as to what the medications would do. She felt they would react quickly and help her to form a loving relationship with her son.
“I had to explain the medications needed time to make her better and, after assessing her tolerance, they would take six, or even eight, weeks to take effect.”
On the challenging nature of the relationship between Dr Ige and Emma, Ms Power said: “The family felt she was being treated as a difficult patient rather than a patient with difficulties.”
She also asked the doctor whether he and his colleagues had ever considered sectioning Emma under the Mental Health Act 1983.
To which he replied that although Emma's behaviour and emotional state was sectionable, she had been engaging with home treatment and been compliant in all areas.
The inquest continues