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Woman took her own life after being discharged from hospital without family’s knowledge, investigation said


A “glamorous” businesswoman has taken her own life days after being discharged against the wishes of her psychiatrist from a Priory flagship hospital, who later failed to tell her family she had left, a news outlet was heard. investigation.

Annabel Findlay, who had a history of depression and psychiatric illness, had been receiving treatment at the company’s Roehampton clinic in August 2021 after being admitted on the recommendation of her GP.

The 56-year-old, who ran a company called ‘fancy porn’ that specialized in ‘fancy erotica’, has left the southwest London clinic despite doctors asking her to stay on.

An inquest heard that the clinic, which is popular with celebrities undergoing treatment, did not attempt to contact her until 10 days later. Mrs Findlay was found dead the same month.

A coroner has now raised concerns about the Priory’s response to his release from hospital, including the fact that his family and friends were not contacted when he left.

Annabel Findlay (pictured) took her own life days after leaving a Priory hospital against the advice of psychiatrists.

The 56-year-old had been receiving support at the company's flagship clinic in Roehampton (pictured)

The 56-year-old had been receiving support at the company’s flagship clinic in Roehampton (pictured)

Ms Findlay, who had an MA in Art History from the same university the Prince and Princess of Wales attended, had worked as a photographer and director of the erotic website Toffporn.

Her friends recognized her as a “very talented photographer”: she had been a stylist and beauty editor for Brides magazine before setting up a photography business specializing in images of clients in the nude or in lingerie.

They said The times: ‘Annabel was considered by those who knew her to be a vivacious and charismatic friend, who was very glamorous and had an extremely quick wit and a wonderful sense of humor.’

In a Preventing Future Deaths report released this month, coroner Jake Taylor said that while Ms Findlay had received treatment at Priory Hospital in Roehampton between February 2018 and August 2021, she “didn’t always engage with professional doctors and revealed that it was herself”. -medicate’.

The inquest into her death heard that she had been admitted to hospital on 20 August 2021 for “various complaints” after a referral from her GP.

The report noted that psychiatrists were trying to reduce the amount of venlafaxine he was taking prior to his admission, as the antidepressant had caused unwanted urinary retention.

After being admitted, she was started on a different antidepressant, but just seven days later, on August 27, 2021, she was discharged.

Mr Taylor said this was “despite requests from his treating psychiatrist that he stay on so that his response to his change in medication could be monitored.”

Ms Findlay (pictured) took her own life days after leaving Priory Hospital in Roehampton.

Ms Findlay (pictured) took her own life days after leaving Priory Hospital in Roehampton.

It added that a discharge plan was put in place as “Ms Findlay was deemed to have capacity” and “no significant risks were identified.”

As part of this plan, he was required to contact the hospital to make an outpatient appointment and was given a week’s supply of medication, according to the report.

Despite this, the report states that “no steps were taken to contact her emergency contact and/or her next of kin, such as to facilitate Ms. Findlay’s receiving support in the community after discharge.”

The coroner wrote that her family and friends were unaware of her discharge, despite the fact that her emergency contact was listed as the person who brought her to the hospital a week earlier.

It added: “No follow-up appointment was made prior to Ms Findlay’s discharge and no attempt was made to contact her after her discharge until September 6, 2021.”

In his report, Mr Taylor says these are “matters of concern” and has written to Priory Hospital asking them to explain what steps they will take to prevent this from happening in the future.

In statements given to the Timesthe hospital said: ‘We would like to reiterate our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Ms Findlay.

“While we always advise against discharging a patient against clinical advice, we conducted a comprehensive review after Ms Findlay’s death and strengthened the way we ensure follow-up calls are made to patients after discharge. high according to our policy.

“This plan has now been shared with the coroner to provide assurance that the recommendations have been carried out.”

Ms Findlay’s death is the latest in a series of cases where the clinic has been criticized for the way it has treated some patients.

The Priory has become synonymous with celebrities recovering from drink or drug addiction at the brand’s flagship hospital in Roehampton.

But most of the patients in more than 300 Priory clinics across Britain are paid by the NHS; the taxpayer, in other words.

The Priory, which wins at least £400m a year in lucrative NHS contracts, is now the country’s largest provider of mental health services.

Since 2019, four Priory hospitals have been forced to close following damning inspections by the NHS regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), due to a shortage of staff, who often lacked the skills required to address the complex needs of patients.

Among the cases that have put the brand in the spotlight is the death of millionaire Stephen Bantoft in 2015.

The 49-year-old man was suffering from alcohol dependence and personality disorder when he voluntarily checked in for a week’s worth of care at Roehampton Hospital, the same clinic where Ms Findlay was treated.

He ended up hanging himself just hours after arriving, despite his wife warning staff that he was risking suicide when she brought him in, the inquest heard. Last year his family settled a lawsuit with the firm in connection with his death.

Mental health blogger Beth Matthews, pictured left with her sister Lucy (right), took her own life at Priory Hospital in Cheadle Royal

Mental health blogger Beth Matthews, pictured left with her sister Lucy (right), took her own life at Priory Hospital in Cheadle Royal

Earlier this year, a jury inquest ruled that the negligence of a Priory psychiatric unit treating mental health blogger Beth Matthews contributed to her death.

The 26-year-old, who was being treated at Priory Hospital in Cheadle Royal, near Stockport, committed suicide on March 21 last year while on the ward after ingesting a poison she had bought online in Russia.

She had been classified as “high risk” and was being supervised by two staff members when she opened a package containing a plastic bottle of the substance, despite orders that she not be allowed to open her own mail.

She initially told staff it was ‘protein powder’ before ingesting it in front of them despite their efforts to stop her, after which she told them ‘I’ll be dead in an hour’. Ms. Matthews suffered a fatal cardiac arrest the same day.

A nine-day investigation found that staff “negligence” had contributed to his death, with The Priory Group admitting that his care plan “was not followed” and that, had it been followed, he probably “would not have ingested the substance and I would have died.” like she did it.

Following the investigation, a hospital spokesperson said they “fully accept the jury’s conclusions and acknowledge that much more attention should have been paid to Beth’s care plan.”

They added: ‘At the time of Beth’s unexpected death, we took immediate steps to address issues related to how we document risk and communicate patient care plans, along with our processes for receiving and opening mail.

“Patient safety is our highest priority and we will now review the coroner’s comments in detail and make any additional necessary changes to our policies and procedures.”

  • For confidential support, please call Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritanos.org for details

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