Coroner's criticism for lack of joined-up care following death of Chirk woman

Reporter:

Lucy Wain

A coroner has expressed concern at a lack of communication between different medical teams as he ruled a Chirk woman’s death was from natural causes.

Joanne Kay Morris, aged 29, of Crogen, Lodgevale Park, in Chirk, died at Wrexham Maelor Hospital of sepsis due to anorexia on September 14.

It resulted from complications from her anorexia.

Coroner John Gittins heard Miss Morris – who also had obsessive compulsive disorder – had suffered from anorexia since the age of 10. Her mother, Rhian Morris, said the problem had started after a healthy-eating push at school.

She was under the care of a GP and had an 18-month stay at Wrexham Maelor Hospital’s Heddfan mental health unit in February 2016. Last year she was admitted to Nightingale House Hospice, wrexham.

Dr Jane Roberts, a GP at Castle Health Centre in Chirk, said Miss Morris had obsessive symptoms from the age of five or six, and had never been able to sustain a healthy weight or recover from anorexia.

The inquest held at County Hall, Ruthin, heard Miss Morris started having problems swallowing food and began to feel unwell before she was admitted to Wrexham Maelor Hospital – where she died on September 14.

Miss Morris’ sister, Samantha Morris, said the family felt there had been no continuity of care.

Dr Javier Rodriguez, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s (BCUHB) clinical director for mental health services, said a health board review found the care Miss Morris received was comparable to a specialist eating disorder unit.

Services did try to engage with Miss Morris, he said, but added there was a ‘communication issue’ in terms of the overall treatment plan developed in the community between services and the acute medical staff.

The sharing of the court order should have been part of the overall plan.

Mr Gittins expressed concern over the lack of ‘joined-up thinking’ regarding communication between community and hospital teams.

A BCUHB spokesman said: “We have listened carefully to the recommendations of the coroner and acknowledge the need for improved communication between the different teams in the health board.

“We are committed to making improvements.”

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