Health trust admits failings related to suicide of student Lauren Smith at University in Wales Trinity St David's Lampeter campus
A HEALTH trust has admitted to care failings related to the suicide of an 18-year-old student at the University in Wales Trinity St David’s Lampeter campus in 2012.
Lauren Smith, of Canterbury, was said to have a history of mental health problems.
Her mother, Laura Smith, said she had been left "heartbroken" and did not want the situation to be repeated, the BBC has reported.
Kent and Medway NHS Trust said a review found more could have been done to support her transfer to Wales.
Laura was said to have a history of self-harming. She was weeks into the first year of her humanities degree when she took her own life at the university halls of residence in Lampeter on November 17, 2012.
Ceredigion coroner Peter Brunton recorded a verdict of suicide while suffering severe depressive illness, at an inquest into her death in Aberystwyth.
The inquest was told she was not getting the mental health care she should have been receiving.
Ms Smith said there was a lack of support for teenagers with a history of mental health and they were at risk of “slipping through the cracks” when they turned 18, left home or moved to university.
She told the BBC: "I was given a false sense of security by assuming risk assessments were being carried out, that my concerns as her mother were being recorded, and that information and records were being shared between agencies.
"There seems to be complacency among mental health professionals when it comes to adolescent mental health - for instance, I was told by one hospital psychiatrist that lots of teenage girls harm themselves, it doesn't mean they're going to do anything."
She added: "There were many opportunities for the outcome to have been different for Lauren.
"We will never know this for sure, but I hope that other vulnerable young people and their families can be spared the additional agony of 'what ifs?' by ensuring that further deaths of those slipping through the cracks."
A spokeswoman for Kent and Medway NHS Trust told the BBC: "Firstly, can we say the [trust] would like to offer our sincere sympathy to Lauren's family.
"Following Lauren’s death the trust conducted an immediate review of the care provided. The initial investigation concluded that record-keeping in the case was below the expected standard and the arrangements for transferring care to Wales should have been better managed.
"Further review has highlighted that more could have been done to gather information from other mental health services that had seen Lauren in the past."
In a statement, Hywel Dda Health Board said it "would like to offer the family of Lauren our condolences for the tragic loss of their daughter".
It added: "We have already been in touch with her family to explain that the appropriate referral to local mental health services was made for Lauren whilst she was resident in our area."