A woman whose body was found in bushes outside a hospital died of natural causes after suffering breathing difficulties caused by a chest infection, a coroner has ruled.
Angela Wade’s body was found in overgrowth by security staff at Dudley’s Russells Hall Hospital on January 5, 2012. The 35-year-old, who had spinal scoliosis and general neurological disease, was last seen on December 20, 2011.
She had been discharged from the hospital following treatment for self-harm. An earlier hearing was told Miss Wade had been assessed by a psychiatric doctor on November 18 after taking an overdose. It was believed to have been a cry for help.
Miss Wade, of Aaron Manby Court in Princes End, Tipton, had been referred to the emergency duty team at adult social care at Sandwell Council and also to the Black Country NHS Foundation Trust.
An assessment had been carried out on the evening of November 18 as Miss Wade said she was having difficulty with her disability. Further assessments were carried out before she was discharged by the team.
But in a letter to the coroner the adult social care team at Sandwell Council said they had been unable to get in contact with Miss Wade following the referral after the overdose.
The psychiatric liaison team claimed Miss Wade’s case had not been referred back to them, despite social services saying it had.
Coroner Mr Robin Balmain had delayed making a conclusion until an investigation into this discrepancy had been carried out.
And at yesterday’s hearing, Mr Balmain said after receiving evidence he was now ‘satisfied’ the proper referrals had taken place. He recorded a conclusion of death by natural causes at the inquest at Dudley Coroner’s Court. “After receiving evidence I am satisfied and can now conclude this inquest,” he said. “This lady had a chest infection which is a natural cause.”
Miss Wade attended St Mary Magdalene School in West Bromwich. She was unemployed. Before she was discovered in the hospital grounds, police had launched a missing persons investigation.
Her body was found in bushes on the boundary of the hospital site, off Bushey Fields Road.
Following the last hearing Miss Wade’s mother Carole said she missed her daughter very much and said despite her problems she would have helped anyone.