Inquest conclusion postponed, and mental health services criticised

Katherine Rought-Rought who died in June 2016. Photo: Courtesy of Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors

Katherine Rought-Rought who died in June 2016. Photo: Courtesy of Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors - Credit: Courtesy of Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors

The conclusion of an inquest for the suicide of a Norwich mother has been postponed, and the set up of national mental health services criticised by an expert.

The jury were unable to come to a decision at the inquest of 36-year-old Katherine Rought-Rought, which began on Tuesday, causing the conclusion to be put off until the morning of April 17.

Miss Rought-Rought, who was born in Bury St Edmunds but lived in North Park Avenue, Norwich, was found dead by her partner in the bathroom of their home on June 1, 2016, at around 8pm.

The inquest, held at Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich, previously heard the medical cause of death was asphyxiation due to strangulation. There were no suspicious circumstances.

Much of the evidence summarised by area coroner Ms Yvonne Blake was to do with whether various mental health professionals felt it was appropriate for Ms Rought-Rought to have been in the community, rather than in hospital, after previous suicide attempts.


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Dr Robert Higgo, an expert clinical psychiatrist, giving evidence this morning said the set up of mental health services across the country was 'terrible'.

Mother-of-one Miss Rought-Rought had suffered with mental health problems since she was 18-years-old, had been an inpatient at Hellesdon Hospital, and was first in contact with mental health services since 2001.

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Today the jury heard Miss Rought-Rought had not been seen by a psychiatrist since May 16, 2016.

Her treatment was moved to the Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment (CRHT) team and while giving evidence Dr Higgo criticised how all over the country the separation of mental health care into different teams meant no one person had an overview of a patient.

He said this meant the psychiatrist who had worked with her previously could not make recommendations over her care.

Doctor Higgo said: ''I think what happened in [Miss Rought-Rought's] case was not unusual.

'If you're asking me if I think it's a good model of service delivery, no, I think it's terrible.'

And he said he felt Miss Rought-Rought should have been admitted to hospital - and would have been had she seen a psychiatrist.

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