Tyla Cook: 'Stand-off at A&E delayed Norfolk teenager's hospital admission'

Tyla Cook Image copyright Tyla Cook's family
Image caption Tyla Cook died on 15 November 2017, six days after being taken to hospital

An autistic teenager who took an overdose waited in an ambulance outside a hospital because of a "stand-off" over his admission, an inquest heard.

Tyla Cook, 16, died in November 2017, six days after being admitted to hospital in King's Lynn, Norfolk.

Social worker Robert Moulton said an A&E doctor would not give the "agitated" teenager sedation so that he could be taken into the hospital.

He said of the "heated" 45-minute delay: "It was a stand-off."

Mr Moulton told Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich that the doctor at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital would not authorise the sedation because the teenager had taken an overdose of over-the-counter tablets, and he did not know what other medication Tyla may have been taking.

The doctor insisted Tyla's psychiatrist Dr Lauren Coates come to the hospital to authorise the sedation, which she did about 45 minutes after the ambulance arrived, the inquest heard.

Image copyright Anita Hodgson
Image caption Tyla died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn

"He was quite clear that because sedation was required to get Tyla off the ambulance he was not willing to perform the sedation or even allow the sedation until Dr Coates was physically present," said Mr Moulton, of the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT).

Tyla, of Wretton near Downham Market, Norfolk, was eventually admitted to the hospital for treatment.

He died on 15 November after a cardiac arrest. A cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

'Wild animal'

Paramedics who took Tyla to hospital said he had been extremely agitated and like a "wild animal", and they had had to apply "gentle restraint" for his safety.

He refused to go to hospital after telling NSFT staff he had taken an overdose, but paramedics and staff decided he did not have the capacity to understand the consequences and overruled him.

The inquest previously heard Tyla "disliked being a girl" and had adopted male pronouns in the months before his death. He had been prescribed medication for depression and anxiety.

His mother Stacey Drake has raised concerns over the way Tyla was restrained in the back of the ambulance, and a lack of consultation over his subsequent treatment.

The inquest continues.

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