Clinical Negligence & Catastrophic Injury Solicitors
Police investigate woman's death.
A 69-year-old woman died in hospital after becoming unwell at a unit ran by Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.
A review found Margaret Molyneux was given high doses of the anti-psychotic drug olanzapine at a mental health unit, Kingfisher Court, Radlett, before her death in in July 2017.
Margaret Molyneux's daughter, Petria Foley, said she believed the medication "caused her to die."
A spokesman for the NHS trust said it was "deeply sorry" for the family's loss and that it was "helping the police with their inquiries and investigation. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this stage."
Ms Molyneux was sectioned under the Mental Health Act in March 2017 and admitted to Kingfisher Court after a bipolar relapse. While at the unit, her dose of olanzapine was increased.
Ms Foley said: "Very quickly her health deteriorated. She started to have falls and was admitted to hospital with sepsis and pneumonia and was also diagnosed with dysphagia, a problem with swallowing."
Ms Foley, who lives in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, said an issue with swallowing was a problem associated with anti-psychotic drugs.
Her mother was returned to Kingfisher Court with written advice saying alternative medication should be considered and that she was at risk of choking but Miss Foley said that the advice was ignored
She added that a few weeks later her mother was told to stop smoking, which can increase the level of olanzapine in a person's blood.
Ms Molyneux, an English lecturer, was then readmitted to Watford General Hospital and she choked while eating porridge on 2 July, her daughter said.
Ms Foley said doctors noted her mother's dysphagia was so severe that she would die from it. Her mother, who lived in Bishop's Stortford, died at the hospital on 5 July 2017.
Miss Foley said. “My mother was entirely vulnerable. She shouldn't have died as a result of her psychiatric treatment."
A spokeswoman for Hertfordshire Police said inquiries were being carried out by the force's safeguarding command "following allegations around the medical treatment of a woman who subsequently died in 2017."
A spokeswoman said: "No arrests have been made at this time and the investigation is continuing; it would therefore be inappropriate for us to comment any further."