Leeds University student’s death - jury inquest continues

Katie Hamilton, 26, was studying at Leeds University.
Katie Hamilton, 26, was studying at Leeds University.

A DOCTOR told an inquest she set a 15-minute observation time for a patient at a mental health unit in Leeds after consulting a charge nurse, a registrar and a consultant psychiatrist.

Leeds University student Katie Hamilton took her life on March 9 2016 after being admitted as an inpatient to the Becklin Centre in Leeds, an inquest jury at Wakefield Coroner’s Court was told.

The inquest has heard the 26-year-old from Newcastle had already made three attempts on her life that week and was put under observation every 15 minutes after being transferred from intensive care.

She was found in her room with a ligature around her neck at 10.10pm. Staff immediately began resuscitation efforts and she taken to Leeds General Infirmary, where she died from a brain injury caused by lack of oxygen on March 12. Miss Hamilton had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and had been admitted to the Becklin Centre at least 22 times between 2011 and 2016.

Dr Katie Mayers, who was working at the centre when Miss Hamilton was admitted on March 9, told the inquest she discussed her case with mental health charge nurse Hannah Wilkinson.

Nurse Wilkinson had dealt with Miss Hamilton before and said 15 minute observations had worked previously. Dr Mayers said she spoke to registrar Dr Rachel McKie, who agreed 15 minute observations were appropriate. The inquest heard consultant psychiatrist Dr Vikram Luthra also told Dr Mayers he thought 15 minute observations were the best way to manage Miss Hamilton.

Dr Mayers, said: “I felt satisfied that I had asked all the available people to make the best decision for Katie.”

Katie’s mother, Emma Hamilton, previously told he inquest that she warned Becklin Centre staff that observations every 15 minutes were not sufficient, only to be told it would be reviewed the next morning.

The inquest continues.

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