Beds, Herts & Bucks

Colette McCulloch: A1 death psychiatrist 'hung up on'

Colette McCulloch Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption Colette McCulloch was killed by a lorry in July 2016

The lead psychiatrist treating a woman who died after being hit by a lorry on the A1 said he was hung up on when he requested she be detained under the Mental Health Act.

Colette McCulloch died on 28 July 2016, while a voluntary patient at Pathway House in Wyboston, Bedfordshire.

Dr Olufemi Oluwatayo told an inquest he repeatedly asked that she be detained as she posed a risk to herself.

He said he felt the 35-year-old's detention was "a matter of urgency".

Dr Oluwatayo told Ampthill Coroner's Court his requests for an assessment by an adult mental health professional (AMPH) were refused.

The court heard he rang Patrick Moore, from the AMPH service in Bedfordshire, two days after Ms McCulloch jumped into the River Great Ouse in St Neots.

He said he wanted to know why the request for assessment under the Mental Health Act was being delayed but this conversation ended in an argument.

Dr Oluwatayo told the court he could not believe he was hung up on.

Image caption Colette McCulloch's parents Andrew and Amanda previously told the inquest the care home had failed to take care of her

Under questioning from Robert Wastell, representing AMHP service, he denied he had been abrupt and rude during the conversation but accepted there was a breakdown in communication with AMHP.

Mr Wastell said AMHP had accepted its failure to deal with the request for Ms McCulloch to be detained under the Mental Health Act.

Dr Oluwatayo said he never made another request despite Ms McCulloch repeatedly being found drunk in nearby towns away from Pathway House - one on occasion she rang her father Andy to say she wanted to kill herself.

He said he did not try again because he did not believe another request would have been successful.

The inquest is being heard by assistant coroner for Bedfordshire and Luton Martin Oldham.

The previous coroner, Ian Pears, agreed to step down after the family criticised him for focusing solely on the road traffic accident rather than the care Ms McCulloch received.

The inquest continues.

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