'Total failing' of mental health trust contributed to Great Yarmouth woman's death, family claim
PUBLISHED: 13:21 24 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:28 24 December 2018
A "total failing" of the region's mental health trust contributed to the death of a 41-year-old woman, according to her brother.
Yasmin Siddiqi, 41, died in a fire at her flat in Rodney Road, Great Yarmouth, on Friday, October 26.
Her brother Zahid Verrier believes if the “correct systems” at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust were in place she would still be alive.
Just two months before her death, the 41-year-old failed to attend an appointment at Northgate Hospital which specialises in mental health treatment.
She later presented herself at the hospital in an ‘unwell state’.
In a letter, dated September 4, 2018, addressed to her GP, Dr Noakes which has been seen by this newspaper, the duty worker who attended her requested an urgent assessment of Miss Siddiqi with the suggestion inpatient care was required.
Miss Siddiqi remained at her home in Great Yarmouth where she later died in her basement.
The 41-year-old had been battling mental health issues for more than 15 years and was referred to the NSFT in 2009.
Her family said they were given an unofficial diagnosis of bipolar, however, a separate letter dated, February 7, 2018, shows she was officially diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder - something Mr Verrier was unaware of until her death.
Symptoms of the disorder include hallucinations and episodes of depression.
Mr Verrier, who is considering possible formal action, believes the trust being placed in special measures is deserved as a result of “consistent failings to care for the needs of its patients”.
He said: “The day to day care failed my sister. If the correct systems would have been in place she would still be alive.
“It is inconceivable to think I would lose my sister at this age let alone in these circumstances.
“The whole family is devastated.”
Chief Operating Officer at NSFT, Stuart Richardson, said it would not be appropriate to comment further.
He said: “We were extremely saddened when we heard about the death of Miss Siddiqi.
“It is not appropriate to comment further on the detail of individual cases via the media, particularly when our investigation is still underway and there is an inquest pending which will review all of the circumstances surrounding a person’s death.”
A visit from a locum consultant psychiatrist in February this year highlighted the day to day living conditions Miss Siddiqi endured.
They were described as very deplorable and full of clutter.
Several empty cigarette packets were found on the visit with the ashtray completely full of cigarette butts.
Inquest ongoing into Miss Siddiqi’s death;
At the inquest opening, Miss Siddiqi’s medical cause of death was given as inhalation of fire fumes.
The incident saw firefighters battle for almost an hour with the fire, which took place in her rented basement flat in Rodney Road.
Miss Siddiqi, was born in Birmingham where she studied at Birmingham College of Food and Arts, gaining a qualification in catering.
She moved to Great Yarmouth where she lived for more than 20 years.
Following Miss Siddiqi’s death, her brother Zahid Verrier, said the family was in shock over the incident, describing his sister as a “special soul” with a flair for cooking.
“She was a wonderful, gentle woman with the biggest heart.
“She was a very loving and caring person and had the most infectious laugh.” he said.
The inquest hearing has been adjourned until May 29, 2019.
Mr Verrier added: “My mother is devastated that she will have to lay one of her children to rest.”