A CORONER is to raise questions about access to mental health crisis services after the death of a 36-year-old Barrow woman.

An inquest into the death of Tammy Elizabeth McDermott, who had been a mum and a clinical support worker at Furness General Hospital, took place at Barrow Town Hall yesterday.

The hearing was told Miss McDermott had suffered with depression for around 12 years and was emotionally fragile. The inquest heard how she had been reluctant to accept help from family, friends and colleagues.

Miss McDermott died on January 12, 2017 and assistant coroner, Paul O'Donnell, concluded that her medical cause of death was as a result of hanging and he recorded a verdict of suicide.

Mr O'Donnell said he will write a Regulation 28 Report to Prevent Future Deaths as family and friends highlighted concerns about the mental health crisis team not intervening to assess Miss McDermott when contacted by a health care professional, Miss McDermott's manager and hospital ward sister, Michelle McLaughlin.

The inquest heard Miss McLaughlin had called the crisis team with concerns in the days before Miss McDermott's death, but said she was told she could not ask for a mental health assessment as she was not family or GP.

Miss McLaughlin told the inquest: "I explained she would not self present."

Mr O'Donnell said: "You were trying to get her seen urgently, did they know you work at the hospital?" Miss McLaughlin replied: "Yes".

Mr O'Donnell said: "I am struggling with that."

The assistant coroner said: "An opportunity was clearly missed.

"The prominence of Michelle to Tammy's life and her professional status should have allowed a door to open urgently."

Miss McDermott's family asked police to conduct a welfare check on her, but Miss McDermott had told officers she was fine.

The Report to Prevent Future Deaths is to be sent to the chief coroner and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Mr O'Donnell said: "Family and friends have voiced concerns that access to the crisis team was not available, which may have helped change the future events, but we will never know.

"I will make a report under Regulation 28."

During the hearing Miss McLaughlin described Miss McDermott as "a bubbly character, who got along with everyone, worked to a high standard and very family orientated".

The hearing was told that Miss McDermott, of Longway, got involved in body building and "got obsessed" with it.

In 2015 a then partner of Miss McDermott had told friends that she had said intended to walk onto train lines, something Miss McDermott denied to her friends.

Absence from work in 2016 due to personal stress difficulties triggered referrals to an occupational health consultant, but Miss McDermott failed to attend the sessions.

The inquest heard how Miss McLaughlin would call Miss McDermott and go to her house to check on her.

Mr O'Donnell and Miss McDermott's family said Miss McLaughlin had provided an extremely high level of care. Mr O'Donnell said: "That has been a very heartening part of today's hearing.

"Your input has been commendable."

Miss McDermott's father, Gerard McDermott, said: "You went way above your post, we thank you for that."

A toxicology report said phenazepam, a sedative illegal to to buy in the UK, was found in Miss McDermott's system.

The inquest heard Miss McDermott was fit and active and had been an international level netball player in her youth.

Mr O'Donnell said: "Tammy was strong physically but emotionally fragile and reluctant to get help."

He said Miss McDermott had used anti depressants with her episodes of emotional distress being linked with relationship breakdowns.

"Tammy was fiercely independent and not receptive to offers of help financially or emotionally.

"She was a free thinker and as her dad said, she would 'go against the wind.'"

He said Miss McDermott had been a highly valued, positive and constructive member of staff.