A MENTAL health patient who avoided a suicide risk search before leaving a ward at Bradford’s Lynfield Mount hospital was found hanging in a children’s park soon after, an inquest has heard.

Angela Hill, 28, was described as a bright, intelligent woman with extraordinary potential but who sadly had a troubled past and a hugely complex psychiatric diagnosis. Her mental health problems had begun after she told a school nurse she had been sexually abused.

Miss Hill had a long history of in and outpatient care, including a three-year-detention, but was a voluntary in-patient on Lynfield Mount’s Ashbrook Ward before she died from a brain injury due to suffocation on January 7 this year at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

Despite her previously suggesting to Lynfield staff they should search her for her dressing gown cord before allowing her out, that search was not carried out on January 2, the day she was discovered unresponsive in a nearby playpark, the hearing was told.

The inquest heard how, although hospital staff were aware of her suggestion, it had not been formally included in a care plan. Staff had previously asked to search her and on one occasion had stopped her from leaving.

However, on January 2 and despite her disclosing to night and early shift staff she had feelings of suicide, Miss Hill, from Penny Green in Settle, had told the nurse assessing her that she felt fine to go out and did not need to be searched. The staff nurse trusted her.

Assistant Coroner Oliver Longstaff said: “Hindsight would lead anyone to wish the outcome of that assessment had been different but I take into account evidence that Angela was regarded as honest and truthful and that she assured the nurse she was not a danger to herself. The point is made that there would have been nothing to stop Angela from procuring the means of ending her own life elsewhere. She took herself to a park where she could do what she did.”

Mr Longstaff also said it was entirely in her character that Miss Hill rang the police first so they could try and find her before anyone else was caused distress. He added: “I’m satisfied Angela knew what she was doing and intended the consequences of her actions.

“Angela Hill intentionally took her own life.”

A six-month long serious incident investigation had been carried out by Bradford District Care Trust since her death and some lessons had been learned, the inquest was told.

The Trust was working on a new suicide prevention strategy and had introduced ‘safety huddles’ on its wards every shift so there was live awareness of patients’ risks and needs and care could be consistent.

Mr Longstaff said he wanted to give Miss Hill the last word at her inquest and read excerpts from a note found in her handbag which expressed love for her nearest and dearest.

It also included a firm wish there should be no repercussions for a certain someone, saying “I love him too.” She also had words for those who had treated her, saying: “I may haunt you... in a nice way.”