Page last updated at 15:39 GMT, Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Anorexic treatment delay concern

Delays in the treatment of an anorexic 18-year-old woman who "literally wasted away" have been criticised by a coroner in Norfolk.

Charlotte Robinson, 18, of Worstead, was diagnosed with anorexia in April 2007 and died four months later.

She weighed 6st 2lb (39.4kg) shortly before her death, the inquest was told.

In a narrative verdict Coroner William Armstrong said there was an "inappropriate delay" in referring Miss Robinson to a mental health nurse.

The teenager died from bronchopneumonia caused by her anorexia on 8 August 2007, two months after sitting her A-level exams.

No one who has sat in this court over the last two days could have failed to be moved by this tragic story of a beautiful young woman who literally wasted away
Coroner William Armstrong

Her parents later learned that she had achieved four A grades and said she had hoped to study at Cambridge University.

In recording his verdict, Mr Armstrong said: "Charlotte Robinson first exhibited symptoms of anorexia not later than February 2007 when she received support from her GP.

"On 30 April 2007 she was referred by her GP to the mental health team.

"There then followed an inappropriate delay in responding to this referral before Charlotte was seen by a mental health nurse on 5 June, 2007.

"Following this initial meeting no comprehensive assessment was undertaken.

Tribute to parents

"As a result of a failure of effective liaison, there was then a further inappropriate delay before she was seen again on 3 July 2007 by which time her condition had further deteriorated."

Mr Armstrong said the teenager was in a "grave condition" by the time she was admitted to a specialist clinic to treat her illness on 20 July.

Two days later, she was transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in a critical condition, he said.

The two key organisations involved in her care were NHS Norfolk, and Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Foundation Trust.

After recording his verdict, Mr Armstrong said: "She fell prey to a dangerous illness which weakened her and finally claimed her life.

"No one who has sat in this court over the last two days could have failed to be moved by this tragic story of a beautiful young woman who literally wasted away."

He also paid tribute to Miss Robinson's parents, saying no one could have "given more support" to her.

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Evening News 24 Coroner criticises delays after anorexia death - 17 hrs ago
Telegraph Anorexic student 'wasted away' following 'inappropriate delays' in her care - 18 hrs ago
Rye and Battle Observer Anorexia death - coroner highlights treatment delays - 19 hrs ago
EDP 24 Anorexia death: Coroner criticises treatment delays - 20 hrs ago
Hemel Hempstead Gazette Anorexia death - coroner highlights treatment delays - 20 hrs ago

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