THE family of a 61-year-old grandmother, who died after going missing, has said they were not properly informed how at risk she was of self-harming.
Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court yesterday ruled Jackie Gulliford from Eynsham was “likely” to have committed suicide.
She went missing from her home on January 14 during the floods. Her disappearance sparked a massive police search. However, her body was not found until March 15 in the River Evenlode near Cassington Mill.
It emerged at yesterday’s inquest into her death, held at County Hall, that she had been discharged from the Warneford Hospital a week before she went missing.
The inquest heard she had been treated at the Headington facility for depression since December after consuming bleach. After being discharged, Mrs Gulliford, a senior accounts assistant at Worcester College for 16 years, returned to the hospital as a day patient but was told to have a day off – the day she went missing.
After the hearing, her daughter Sarah Cornett, 33, said the family was not told she was at high risk of self-harm or suicide until it was revealed in an investigation report released in April.
Mrs Cornett from Witney, who is a former mental health worker, said: “If we had had the information about risk, we could have supported mum in the community. She would have made a full recovery.”
Mrs Gulliford’s son James, 29, said: “If we’d known everything our reactions would have been very different.”
He said he became concerned when his mother was in the hospital’s day centre, in a group painting activity, and talked to her on the phone.
“I said, ‘Should we be worried about you drawing a cliff?’ And she replied, ‘I hope not.’ And that was the last time I spoke to her.”
The inquest heard a meeting was held at Warneford Hospital, run by Oxford Health, to discuss Mrs Gulliford’s release and risk assessment.
The family said her husband Bruce, 63, was not invited but the hospital’s consultant psychiatrist, Dr Olga-Maria Tsatalou, told the inquest she believed he did attend, even though she was not present herself.
Recording a narrative verdict, assistant coroner Nicholas Graham said: “Mrs Gulliford had a history of psychiatric illness and, although it is likely she took her own life, it is not possible to prove beyond reasonable doubt that she did so.”
An Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said an investigation was being finalised in conjunction with the family.
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS, SPORT and JAYDEN depending on what services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Our top stories
9:00am Saturday 25th October 2014
BIKE safety campaigners have warned that cyclists are risking their lives, after an Oxford Mail survey found more than half of them were riding without lights.
5:18pm Saturday 25th October 2014
A FOOTBALL match was abandoned this afternoon after a bottle was thrown onto the pitch.
1:40pm Saturday 25th October 2014
With an extra hour to enjoy - or recover with - tonight is the perfect night to celebrate one of Oxford's biggest nights of music
9:30am Saturday 25th October 2014
Danny Rose is targeting a move into mid-table today as Oxford United visit Carlisle United in search of a third win in eight days.
9:30am Saturday 25th October 2014
FILM buffs were given a taste of how movies used to be watched as they turned out for a silent screening in Witney.
8:49am Saturday 25th October 2014
Police have said the 21-year-old Oxford University student who was reported missing has been found safe and well.