Daily Mail

Griev­ing mum: Why did clinic staff send my bu­limic girl home to die?

- By Claire Duf­fin

A BU­LIMIC 16- year- old died weeks af­ter she was dis­charged from a clinic against her mother’s wishes.

Rose­mary West­wood-Rose, 52, said she pleaded with staff to keep Libby in.

But the teenager was sent home, where she con­tin­ued to make her­self sick and died five weeks later af­ter suf­fer­ing a car­diac ar­rest caused by low potas­sium lev­els.

She was found dead in her bed­room by her younger brother Alex.

Mrs West­wood-Rose, a nurse, said the fam­ily strug­gled to cope with Libby’s ‘slow and in­vis­i­ble de­cline’ and she was ‘failed by doc­tors’. She wants to over­turn a de­ci­sion not to hold an in­quest into her daugh­ter’s death, say­ing a ‘ full and fierce’ in­quiry is needed to see if any­thing could have been done to pre­vent it.

The fam­ily were told Libby died of nat­u­ral causes but her mother and fa­ther Ricky, 54, in­sist more could have been done. Two doc­tors in­volved in Libby’s care are now re­port­edly be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the Gen­eral Med­i­cal Coun­cil.

Libby lived with her mother and brother in Telford, Shrop­shire. Her fa­ther, who works for Nato, lives in Brus­sels af­ter the cou­ple sep­a­rated when she was six.

Mrs West­wood-Rose said Libby started di­et­ing at 14, when she be­came self- con­scious about her ap­pear­ance. She added: ‘I have al­ways strug­gled with my weight and I thought she’d be like me – she’d gain and she’d lose and try di­ets like me. I didn’t know she would de­velop an eat­ing dis­or­der.’

It was only when friends started to com­ment about Libby’s weight loss that she took her to a GP in 2015. Mrs West­wood-Rose said: ‘She had to take her top off. She didn’t look ema­ci­ated, but she was thin and I thought, “my God, how have I not no­ticed this?” ’

Libby was even­tu­ally ad­mit­ted to Princess Royal Hos­pi­tal in Telford last April be­fore be­ing trans­ferred to eat­ing dis­or­der clinic New­bridge House in Sut­ton Cold­field.

Mrs West­wood-Rose said Libby per­suaded clinic staff she was re­cov­er­ing and she was dis­charged on July 19. On Au­gust 23, a meet­ing was held be­tween health pro­fes­sion­als, Libby and her mother, but the teenager died three days later.

In a let­ter writ­ten four days be­fore her death, Libby wrote: ‘It is no one’s fault. I love you so much.’

Her mother said: ‘We are all an­gry and frus­trated. She should not have died. In the space of just a cou­ple of years, Libby trans­formed from a bright, am­bi­tious young girl into a vic­tim of anorexia, bu­limia and or­thorexia [an ob­ses­sion with eat­ing healthy food]. We are de­ter­mined to find out how this hap­pened.’

New­bridge House said it did not ‘man­age the care of young peo­ple af­ter they leave’. Chris­tine Mor­ris, of the Telford and Wrekin Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group, said: ‘ The tragic events lead­ing to Libby’s death have been re­viewed as part of a multi-agency safe­guard­ing panel.’

Cathy Ri­ley, of the Mid­lands Part­ner­ship NHS Trust, added: ‘A clin­i­cal re­view was or­dered by the trust. This re­view was com­pleted and shared with Libby’s fam­ily.’

‘We are all an­gry and frus­trated’

 ??  ?? De­mand­ing an­swers: Rose­mary West­wood-Rose with Libby a year be­fore she died
De­mand­ing an­swers: Rose­mary West­wood-Rose with Libby a year be­fore she died

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