Nottingham Post

Parents say Molly ‘hated’ being at mental health unit



THE parents of a young woman who was found unresponsi­ve in her room at a Nottingham­shire mental health clinic have criticised the care she received.

Molly-star Kirk, 20, was an inpatient at the Farndon Unit in Newark when she died on May 29, 2022.

She had previously been detained under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act at various hospitals and clinics across the country, as she was suffering from emotionall­y unstable personalit­y disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and Bulimia Nervosa. She was moved from Cygnet Hospital Maidstone to the Farndon Unit in October 2021 to undergo a type of therapy which was not available at Cygnet.

In a statement read by the family’s solicitor during the 10-day inquest at Nottingham Council House yesterday, Molly’s mum, Kay Kirk, explained that being in a hospital was often a positive thing for Molly’s mental health. The family would often see a difference in her, as she became “calmer and less distressed” after getting her medication.

According to Mrs Kirk, Molly seemed “lively and cheerful” during her time at Cygnet, which seemed a “relatively positive place to be” for her, and she looked well during her admission. The experience at Farndon Unit was “noticeably different”, the inquest heard, as staff had little communicat­ion with the family about Molly’s progress, history, and care plan.

Mrs Kirk said: “There were never any conversati­ons with the staff about how Molly was doing, what the plan for her future was, or what we could do to support her.”

On one occasion at the end of October 2021, Molly was taken to hospital “days later” after saying she was in pain. Investigat­ions found her colon had been perforated and she had a stoma bag fitted, which she had until she died.

Mrs Kirk explained that the staff at Farndon did not contact the family and they were informed about the procedure by Molly. It is understood that there was a reference in Molly’s records saying she wanted to update her family when she was admitted to hospital. Mrs Kirk added in her witness statement that the tone of the social worker she would speak to arrange visits “sometimes made me feel discourage­d to visit”.

Mrs Kirk, from Milton Keynes, said: “Because Farndon is so far away and I don’t drive, and Peter [Molly’s stepdad] often works away from home, we were only able to visit Molly around once or twice a month. On one occasion, I travelled a few hours on my own.

“After I arrived, it was cut short because something had happened on the ward and they [Farndon] didn’t have enough staff to manage the situation. I know from my communicat­ions with Molly that she was really unhappy at Farndon.

“She hated being there and said ‘it’s making me want to kill myself.’” Staff at the unit were also reportedly shaming the young woman for her behaviours and the fact that she was self-harming, with one of the nurses even telling her that she enjoyed being restrained.”

Molly had good relations with some of the members of staff, but others seemed dismissive. According to her mother, Molly might have also been “over-medicated”.

She explained: “Although she had a bright personalit­y, when we saw her, it was like a completely different person. She was constantly dribbling, and couldn’t focus on the conversati­on.

“She would just stare into the distance, it was like talking to a wall of stone. In the last few months, she seemed almost laconic – that was very difficult.”

Staying in touch with her family was important for Molly, however, she had her phone and tablet confiscate­d on a number of occasions.

One of the reasons for the removal was that she had swallowed something and staff thought she would break her phone down into smaller parts and ingest them.

Her phone was also taken away because “she called 999 for no reason”, which Mrs Kirk thinks is not the case.

The family were also not told about Molly’s seizures, they say. Her stepfather, Peter Kirk, who she called ‘dad,’ said that after having a fall following a seizure, Molly was experienci­ng shooting pains in her leg, and staff did nothing about it.

Mrs Kirk added: “I last spoke to Molly on the day before she died, and she told me she hadn’t been feeling well and that she was still having seizures. No one told us what happened from the day she died, so as a family, we’ve been waiting a long time to find out exactly what went on.

“Molly’s death has been shocking and devastatin­g for our family. Molly had complex needs, and as a family, we were particular­ly concerned about whether the response to the way she expressed worries about her health issues was appropriat­e.

“I know from her medical records that Molly is described as hospitalse­eking, and I am worried that this characteri­sation of her may have stopped staff from recognisin­g that she needed medical attention.”

The “intelligen­t” girl was close to her siblings, nieces, nephews, and cousins and they always stayed in touch. The inquest heard she was “sensitive and empathetic” and thought about others before herself, also keeping in touch with the friends that she had made during her admissions. She was in love with her partner, with the couple planning to move in together and get married.

The inquest continues.

 ?? ?? Molly was only 20 when she died as an inpatient at the Farndon Unit
Molly was only 20 when she died as an inpatient at the Farndon Unit

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