Home Kent News Mum-of-three was found in Maidstone flat two weeks after she died

Mum-of-three was found in Maidstone flat two weeks after she died

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Original article from Kent Live

A mum-of-three was discovered in her flat in Maidstone two weeks after she declined to go to hospital.

Lucy McDermott was found dead in her property in Dickens Road on August 16 last year after police had to break in through a window.

The 56-year-old is believed to have died sometime between August 3 and August 7.

Originally from Galway in Ireland, she left behind three daughters Una, Alice and Mary, two of whom were present at an inquest into her death at The Shepway Centre in Maidstone today (April 14).

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During her life, Lucy reportedly suffered from alcoholism and issues with her mental health.

Coroner James Dillon also stated she had previously been sectioned in France and the UK under the Mental Health Act.

'Concerned for her state of health'

The court heard Lucy sought the medical attention of her GP Dr Gui Santos on August 3.

She needed to reorder medication and was having difficulty with her tongue.

Dr Santos soon put a call out for an ambulance for Lucy, as he was "concerned for her state of health".

When the ambulance arrived, Lucy was assessed and was given an 'Early Warning Score' of 8, which meant that if she were in hospital, she would be transferred over to the intensive care unit.

The National Early Warning Score is a tool to help the detection and response to clinical deterioration in adult patients.

Mr Dillon said there was no doubt for the ambulance service that "Lucy was sufficiently unwell and should be taken immediately to hospital".

But despite being in need of more medical attention, Lucy refused to be transported, the inquest heard.

At first she said she did not want to go without her belongings, such as her phone charger and a book.

The Shepway Centre in Maidstone, where the inquest into Lucy McDermott took place earlier this afternoon

Medical workers offered to take Lucy home to collect her things, before going to the hospital, as a way of encouraging her to go.

However, the court heard she still did not want to go.

Dr Santos and the ambulance crew reportedly assessed Lucy's capacity to refuse the medical help but that was cleared.

Inquests are unimaginably difficult times for grieving family and friends.

We have stringent ethical guidelines followed on how to cover these sensitive and public court hearings with as much care and consideration as possible.

We adhere to The Editors' Code by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) which says the press do not need to give a reason to attend an inquest.

But journalists need to ensure their report is not only accurate, but handled sensitively and that includes omitting any distressing details.

We also take guidance from the charity Samaritans.

We encourage input from families to share tributes of their loved ones so they are remembered as they would wish them to be.

There is a public interest in reporting such tragedies.

If it’s a car crash – what added safety measures should we highlight the need for?

If it’s a drug related death – what changes can we encourage those in power to push for?

If it’s a suicide – how can we help those who are suffering so badly?

We signpost to drug, mental health issues, or other support services wherever possible.

But we have a duty to report on these difficult issues.

Having difficult conversations is the only way change can be brought about.

To read more about the press attending inquests, press here.

Once Lucy signed the ambulance crew's note to confirm she declined to be taken to hospital, she left the surgery.

Evidence given at the inquest indicated a reasonable amount of time had passed since she was last alive.

Mr Dillon said the cause of death was "codeine intoxicity and alcoholic ketoacidosis", and recorded a narrative conclusion.

Original Article