Leeds & West Yorkshire

Huddersfield postnatal death woman 'let down' by NHS

Joanne and Chris Bingley
Image caption Chris Bingley has set up a charity to raise awareness of postnatal depression

The husband of a woman who stepped in front of a train while suffering postnatal depression said there had been "horrendous failings" in her care.

Joanne Bingley, 39, a nurse from Huddersfield, killed herself in April last year, 10 weeks after giving birth to daughter Emily.

Husband Chris Bingley spoke after a coroner recorded a narrative verdict into her death.

Mr Bingley said his wife was "badly let down by the NHS organisation".

At an inquest in Bradford, coroner Professor Paul Marks concluded Mrs Bingley took her own life while suffering severe postnatal depression.

Earlier the inquest was told the couple were "overjoyed" when Mrs Bingley became pregnant after previously suffering a miscarriage and having fertility problems.

'Out of depth'

After giving birth in February 2010 she had trouble breast feeding and the baby's weight dropped dramatically.

Giving evidence at the inquest, Mr Bingley said in the weeks after the birth she became anxious, felt inadequate as a mother and said she would be "better off dead".

He criticised the treatment she received and said he "demanded" she be admitted to hospital.

Image caption The couple's daughter was born in February 2010

Mr Bingley said he was given a home-based care plan, in which he was the designated carer of his wife who was diagnosed with postnatal depression on 14 April last year.

Asked if he felt out of his depth, he replied: "Not only out of my depth, I was not provided with the information I needed to make an informed decision."

He said there was a history of mental health problems in his wife's family and she had suffered from postnatal depression following miscarriages.

He told the court his wife felt "safe and secure" in hospital.

He said her mental health deteriorated and on one occasion she discussed methods of suicide and which options would not work.

Mr Bingley said: "I made requests that Joe be hospitalised and on one occasion demanded that. My requests were ignored."

He added: "It is my belief if I had been provided with information necessary to make an informed decision my wife could well have been given appropriate care and treatment which would have prevented her death."

Mr Bingley has now set up The Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation, a charity which aims to help women and their families by raising awareness of postnatal depression.

Mike Potts, chief executive of NHS Kirklees, said: "The loss of a loved one is enormous, particularly in these tragic circumstances.

"On behalf of local health services we reiterate our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Joanne Bingley."