Cambridgeshire

Edward Mallen: Parents not told of teen's suicidal thoughts

Edward Mallen took his life at 18, as he was about to go to Cambridge University Image copyright The MindEd Trust
Image caption Edward Mallen took his life aged 18 after becoming severely depressed

The parents of a teenager were not told of the suicidal thoughts he expressed to medical staff, an inquest heard.

Edward Mallen, 18, took his own life at Meldreth rail crossing near Cambridge on 9 February 2015.

An inquest in Huntingdon heard how the teenager, who had been offered a place at Cambridge University, had seen a GP two weeks before his death.

Although Mr Mallen had given consent for his parents to be told about his thoughts, they were not informed.

Mental health worker Duncan Maxwell told the inquest into Mr Mallen's death that, in retrospect, such a conversation might have been beneficial.

Image caption Edward Mallen's father Steve was not informed of his son's suicidal thoughts, despite medical staff having consent to tell him

The medical director of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Chess Denman, admitted there were things it "could have done better".

"The Trust has held an internal enquiry and also commissioned an independent report and it is implementing the recommendations of the report and enquiry," Dr Chessman said.

The doctor who treated Mr Mallen told the inquest the teenager was depressed and had experienced suicidal thoughts - something the GP said was "alarming".

The GP contacted Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust crisis intervention team, the inquest was told, recommending Mr Mallen was seen within 24 hours.

But a triage mental health nurse who spoke to Mr Mallen on the phone said a five day wait was appropriate as he did not think there was a significant risk.

Following a two-day inquest in Huntingdon, a coroner returned a verdict of suicide.

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