Birmingham mental health unit suicide ‘didn’t need to happen’

Borstal young offender cellsource: BBC News
published: 28 March 2021

The family of a woman who was the seventh person in as many years to take her own life by the same means at units run by an NHS trust said it “shouldn’t have happened”.

Azra Hussain, 41, died at the secure accommodation in Birmingham on 6 May. Mairi Ul Hasan said her mother “had her grandchildren to get to know [and] watch grow up”. An inquest concluded Ms Hussain would still be alive if not for a series of failures by a mental health trust.

Her daughters are now calling for a public inquiry after their mother’s death at Mary Seacole House, in Winson Green.

Since her death, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has demanded Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust update all its doors in secure accommodation by June. Ms Hussain, who experienced bipolar manic episodes, died despite being on 15-minute observations.

“It’s been heartbreaking, it’s been awful,” Ms Ul Hasan said. “I can’t even comprehend or put it into words how awful it’s been, she shouldn’t have died, it shouldn’t have happened, it didn’t need to happen.

“She was gone too soon… she had the rest of her life to live, she had her grandchildren to get to know [and] watch grow up. She didn’t deserve all the pain, all the suffering,” she added.

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