A star shaped candle holder is lit up by the flame

Beth Matthews should have been safe but she was failed by the hospital

Or #BethsArmy

Sitting in the pub with Beth Matthews family I cried loud, angry tears. 

They were the kind of tears that made everyone else near our table wonder what was going on.

A star shaped candle holder is lit up by the flame
I bought this when I first went to Saltash, Cornwall, and call it my Beth Star

I was angry because the hospital that was supposed to keep Beth safe and help her get better failed her.

That was back last September.

And now, over the past two weeks, while her inquest has been on, I’ve cried loud angry tears again.

I’ve learned just how badly she was failed.

Staff at the secure unit where she was being treated were supposed to check her post.

Staff at the secure unit did not check her post.

Staff at the secure unit did not take appropriate action when she told them she had purchased a substance online that would kill her.

Staff did not stop her from taking the substance when it arrived, and she died on March 21 last year.

Thankfully the jury in her inquest saw that the hospital failed her and concluded she died from suicide contributed to by neglect.

Beth’s inquest was widely reported by the BBC and other media outlets

And I have to believe that something will change at Priory Hospital Cheadle Royal in Stockport.

This belief has to exist despite the fact the BBC reports two other young women died in the same psychiatric hospital in the two months before Beth’s death.

I’m really, really, really, really upset about what happened to Beth.

I’m really, really, really, really angry at the hospital.

She saved my life but the people who were supposed to be saving her in hospital didn’t save hers.

This is why I was in a documentary the BBC made about her.

I wanted to highlight what an amazing woman she was and how she had saved my life, even though we never met.

Her family alluded to this in the statement they issued at the conclusion of her inquest.

I read it on the train and cried a lot – not as loudly as in recent days but a lot.

I then read what her sister wrote on Twitter and cried a lot again.

The Priory said it fully accepted the jury’s findings and acknowledged “far greater attention should have been given to Beth’s care plan”.

A spokesperson said: “At the time of Beth’s unexpected death, we took immediate steps to address the issues around how we document risk and communicate patients’ care plans, alongside our processes for receiving and opening post.

“We want to extend our deepest condolences to Beth’s family and friends for their loss.”

So what happens now?

Because of Beth I’m alive rather than dead so now I have to work out why I’m here.

I hope that whatever I do next I’ll make my spirit animal proud of me.

Given my experiences of recent years (maybe some more about this one day) I think that retraining as a mental health counsellor or therapist could be a good option.

If anyone has any tips about how to do this then I would be very grateful indeed.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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