Manchester

Bolton student who took her own life was denied eating disorder treatment

Hannah Bharaj
Image caption Hannah Bharaj suffered catastrophic injuries after stepping off a department store balcony

A vulnerable student took her own life after she was denied specialist eating disorder treatment, an inquest heard.

Medical student Hannah Bharaj, from Bolton, suffered catastrophic injuries when she stepped off a department store balcony in front of her parents.

Doctors had tried to admit the 20-year-old to a specialist clinic, but she was not deemed sufficiently underweight.

South Manchester Coroner Alison Mutch recorded a conclusion of suicide and asked for further reports.

She said she wanted to know more about communication issues between the NHS and private hospitals, and the suitability of acute mental health beds for young adults.

Hannah, studying at Birmingham University, was described at the inquest in Stockport as bright, charming and hard working.

When she was 18 the combination of her grandfather's death and academic pressure led to anorexia, the court heard.

She was treated at the regional specialist eating disorder unit in Merseyside where she made progress before being discharged in May 2018.

'No beds'

Although Hannah's weight had gone up, her suicidal thoughts remained.  

When she was discharged this information was not shared with anyone outside the hospital, the inquest heard.

Weeks later, she took an overdose and doctors tried to have her re-admitted to the eating disorder unit.

But she was deemed to be no longer sufficiently underweight for them to accept her and there were no NHS beds available in the area.

Hannah ended up in a general adult ward in the Priory Hospital in Cheadle, Greater Manchester, where staff had no specialist knowledge of anorexia.

The inquest was told that Hannah and her parents often went to a nearby department store cafe which had a balcony.

On 12 July 2018 Hannah walked over the edge of the balcony before her parents could stop her. She died hours later. 

The Priory Hospital said its "heartfelt sympathies" were with Hannah's family and said it would ensure there was "improved information sharing".

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