Inquest into Louise Noon's suicide at Northgate Hospital imminent
PUBLISHED: 13:13 27 March 2011
A MOTHER is hoping an inquest will provide answers to what happened to her beautiful daughter and reveal what more could have been done to prevent her suicide while an in-patient in hospital.
Claire Noon, from Caister, hopes lessons can be learned from the sudden death eight months ago of her 24-year-old daughter Louise, which has devastated family and friends, and led to calls to tighten procedures at Northgate Hospital in Great Yarmouth where she was receiving treatment.
Having expressed concerns about her care – ranging from the frequency of checks to lack of awareness about her history among staff – Mrs Noon hopes recommendations will be made in the light of the desperate tragedy.
Four days have been set aside at Norwich Coroners Court for the inquest, which will also look closely at human rights issues, from May 4.
Mrs Noon, who works at Gorleston’s James Paget Hospital but has worked at Northgate, said Louise, right, was “a pleasure to be around and full of fun.”
But a bout of glandular fever while a student had triggered a “bizarre depression” controlled by mood stablisers for the last two years. However, the opiates had given her ovarian cysts – a known complication – and the new medication was not nearly as effective.
Mrs Noon, who has two other grown-up children Laura Bird and Sam Noon, said she was keeping an open mind ahead of the inquest, which she was initially told could take up to two years to be heard, adding: “I am hoping that some good will come out of it.”
On the morning of her death, Louise had played table tennis but her mood had “crashed” as is typical for people with spiralling bi-polar.
Although nothing could be done to bring Louise back, Mrs Noon hoped any changes as the result of Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Trust’s review would benefit future patients – mental illness being a leveller that could strike anyone at anytime.
A preliminary inquest last summer heard there were no suspicious circumstances.
Louise, described as “a bit of an adventurer” had worked at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach and spent two seasons working in a French ski resort.
Mrs Noon said it had been a difficult eight months dealing with the loss of her child and all the legal procedures involved in making a complaint against the hospital and preparing for the inquest.
The involvement of a London-based solicitor who had dealt with similar cases and Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis, a qualified barrister, had speeded the process up, she added.
Mr Lewis said he was pleased the inquest was being heard while memories were still accurate and relevant and the same staff were still in place.
He said: “It is absolutely horrendous that something like this should have happened and it has to be made sure that nothing like it happens again.
“What really touched me was how fair and reasonable the family were after all they had been through.”