It feels like being stabbed in the heart after my sister killed herself in hospital lounge while staff were distracted

It feels like being stabbed in the heart after my sister killed herself in hospital lounge while staff were distracted  

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FRANCESCA Whyatt was just 21 when she was discovered unconscious in the lounge of The Priory Hospital in 2013.

The young woman had managed to slip unnoticed into the lounge area of the hospital in Southwest London while staff were distracted by an incident involving other patients.


Francesca Whyatt, 21, was found unconscious at The Priory Hospital in Roehampton, South West London[/caption]

She passed away three days later
Central News
Central News

Owners of the Priory Group Hospital have been fined £140,00 after an HSE investigation[/caption]

Francesca was admitted into the facility’s mental health unit in March 2013.

On September 25 that year, just a week after her 21st birthday, she used an item of clothing to take her own life.

Francesca was found unconscious by staff members in lounge at the top floor of The Priory Hospital and was rushed o Kingston Hospital.

She passed away three days later on September 28.

Francesca, from Knutsford in Cheshire, was described as a “truly selfless [and] special individual” by her brother Daniel Whyatt, MyLondon reported.

But he said he and her other siblings – she was a quintuplet – couldn’t remember Francesca without feeling angry about the tragic end to her life.

Daniel said: “The tragic and untimely death of our beloved sister has had a profound impact, and has repercussions well beyond those conceivable to anyone outside of our little family unit.

“It has invariably ruined all of our lives, and has muddied the precious memories we have of Francesca.

“It is a strange thing to note that it is just as difficult to write her name as it is to speak it, all these years later it is still so raw. We should be able to talk about her fondly, with a smile… instead every mention of her is done so in anger and rage and it feels like being stabbed in the heart.”

Daniel described his sister as someone who went out of her way to help anyone she met and was “truly selfless”.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) this month into the company behind The Priory Hospital –  Priory Healthcare Limited – found that the hospital failing to ensure the safety of patients in its Emerald Ward.

The group was fined £140,000. Judge Tony Baumgartner said Francesca’s death occurred “because of a freak combination of events”.

Paul Hems, HSE’s head of operations for London, said: “This incredibly sad case highlights the need for suitable and sufficient systems to be put in place to monitor patients.

“Employers should be aware that HSE will hold to account those who do not comply with health and safety legislation.”

The Priory Group said: “We are deeply sorry this tragic incident occurred.

“The ward where Francesca was a patient closed in 2014 … we have invested £15 million into improving the services, environment and staffing at Roehampton Hospital.”

You're Not Alone: Where to seek help if you need it

IF you're struggling with thoughts of suicide, don't deal with it on your own.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

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