PEOPLE could die unless action is taken by a hospital to record circumstances of its out of area patients, a coroner has warned. 

The death of Bournemouth woman Lauren Bridges in February 2022 while in mental health hospital Priory Cheadle near Stockport, Manchester, could have been prevented. 

The 20-year-old was an inpatient at the private hospital when she was found unresponsive as a result of misadventure. 

In a recently published prevention of future deaths report, south Manchester coroner Andrew Bridgman warned that, in his opinion, there is a “risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken”. 

Bournemouth Echo:

The report, which was sent to Dorset HealthCare, said the trust has “admitted that there were shortcomings in its systems for recording the identity and relevant circumstances of its out of area patients and in its processes for assessing those patients when a bed becomes vacant”. 

It added: “As a result, there may have been missed opportunities to offer Lauren a bed.”

Lauren had been at Cheadle Royal for over seven months and an out-of-area patient for more than 500 days and was “desperate” to be closer to home, the inquest heard in September.

Read more: Lauren Bridges inquest: Number of failings led to death

The conclusion of the jury was Dorset Healthcare “did not recognise the exceptional circumstances” of the effects on Lauren being in an out-of-area placement over 260 miles away from home. 

Her medical cause of death was as a result of a hypoxic brain injury, cardiac arrest and a hanging injury.

Bournemouth Echo: Cheadle Royal in StockportCheadle Royal in Stockport (Image: Google)

Mr Bridgman found two matters of concern: ‘the omission to update the hospital overview timeously and correctly’ and, he wrote, ‘it can be inferred from the absence of any documentation regarding discussions about Lauren’s repatriation to an available bed that no such discussion took place’. 

Paying tribute to Lauren, mum Lindsey Bridges said: “Lauren was the most beautiful person inside and out and I am so proud she was my daughter.  

“We were always making plans for her and her future. Lauren was excited to get back into education. She was kind and considerate and wanted to help others by becoming a nurse or a doctor.” 

A spokesperson for Dorset HealthCare said: “Our deepest sympathies go to Lauren’s family and friends for their terrible loss. We can’t imagine their pain and grief.

“We listened very carefully to all the evidence presented at this inquest and fully accept that the systems we had in place to bring people back to Dorset and closer to home were not what they should have been at the time of Lauren’s death.

"We profoundly regret that we could not respond to Lauren’s need to be nearer to her home and her family.

“Our priority is to address the issues related to Lauren’s tragic and untimely death.”