Depressed woman died after hospital discharge

Old County Hall

Old County Hall

First published in News
Last updated

A WOMAN with a history of depression found dead the day after being discharged from a mental health hospital died of natural causes, a coroner has ruled.

Divorced Teresa Smith, 40, was found in bed at her home in Dirac Place, Didcot, by her father Brian Smith on April 11.

She was discharged from Oxford’s Warneford Hospital the day before, after spending several days there, Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court heard on Thursday.

The hospital’s consultant psychiatrist, Dr Olga-Maria Tsatalou, said Ms Smith had a “severely emotionally unstable personality disorder” and had frequently discussed suicide.

At the time of her death, Ms Smith was on medications including anti-anxiety drug diazepam.

In a statement read out to the inquest, her father said he received a call from the hospital on April 10 to say his daughter was being discharged.

He said: “I was unhappy with this as I felt it wasn’t safe.”

He spoke to his daughter between 5pm and 6pm that night, he said, and she sounded “down and depressed, but that was normal for Teresa”.

He found his daughter at her home the next day, and a search by police found no suspicious circumstances.

Forensic pathologist Ian Roberts said he could find no trace of any substances in her blood which could have led to her death.

He concluded her medical cause of death had been a cardiac arrest due to heart disease exacerbated by asthma.

Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter ruled that she died of natural causes.

Top News

Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Our top stories

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree