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Family of patient found dead at Hassocks hospital feel 'cheated' after inquest
A family feels “cheated” after an inquest heard “conflicting evidence” about the death of their daughter and sister in a Sussex psychiatric hospital.
Natasha Yvonne Raghoo died of an unknown allergic reaction after she was found unconscious by a nurse at The Dene hospital in Hassocks.
The hearing at County Hall North in Horsham was told the 33-year-old, who had bipolar disorder, was found unresponsive at 6.30am on May 5, 2012, but paramedics were not called to the psychiatric hospital until 6.55am.
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Miss Raghoo, who worked as an administrator at a mental health hospital, had allergies to fish and nuts.
The jury yesterday returned a narrative verdict stating the cause of death as an anaphylactic shock caused by an unknown allergen.
Miss Raghoo’s family said after the inquest: “We were hoping there would be a mention in the verdict of the time it took to call an ambulance, the lack of blood pressure tests and the CPR given to Natasha.
“She volunteered to go to that hospital as an informal patient – so why lock her up?
“It made her more anxious and more agitated, so instead of helping her condition, they were making it worse.
“We just feel really frustrated, trying to get hold of a nurse while Natasha was there was like trying to talk to the Pope.”
The inquest heard Miss Raghoo was admitted to The Dene on April 25 after she asked her family to take her to accident and emergency.
Two days later she was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and her condition deteriorated.
On May 5 she was put on 15-minute observations.
Roy Nightingale, clinical operations manager for South East Coast Ambulance Service, told the inquest how a defibrillator next to the patient had not been used. He was called 25 minutes after Miss Raghoo was found unconscious.
But nurses told the inquest they had attached the defibrillator pads to Miss Raghoo’s chest.
Brother Navind Raghoo, from Croydon, said: “There is still a lot of conflicting evidence that is still to be solved – the defibrillator and the fact that they said she was restless and drowsy at the same time – how can you be both? We feel cheated.
“We’ll have to go down the complaints procedure and speak to the Care Quality Commission.”
After the inquest a spokeswoman for The Dene said: “All staff at The Dene would wish to reaffirm their condolences to the patient’s family at this difficult time.
“The Dene is committed to delivering high quality care for all patients.
“We can confirm that the hospital has already reviewed and addressed the relevant procedures and we will act on any further points raised at the inquest.”
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