The mother of an 11-year-old girl who died by suicide has begun legal action against the HSE to “expose the flaws” within the health care system.
Fiona Tuomey alleges that these flaws contributed to the death of her daughter, Milly Tuomey, in 2016.
The case, against the HSE, a private psychology clinic, St John of God community services, a doctor and a therapist, was launched on January 3, almost two years to the day after Milly’s death, according to a report in yesterday’s Sunday Independent.
The inquest into Milly’s death heard that the Dublin schoolgirl had been unhappy with her physical appearance and posted on her Instagram account the date on which she intended to die.
She was referred to a private clinic and later the HSE’s Child and Adolescent Services (CAMHS) for a clinical assessment. She died on January 4, 2016, the day before her first appointment with the service.
Fiona Tuomey’s solicitor, Michael Finucane, told the paper: “My clients are not focused on monetary damages but rather in exposing the flaws in the Irish health care system that contributed to their daughter’s death by suicide.
“The inquest into Milly’s death was far too restrictive an exercise to achieve this to any meaningful extent.”
The HSE said they were “not in a position to comment on any such legal matters”.
The inquest was confined to examining the circumstances leading to Milly’s death.
On New Year’s Day 2016, the family had dinner and settled down to watch a movie. The inquest heard that Milly said she was “bored” and left the room.
A short time later she was found by her older sister in a critical condition. She died three days later.
Her first appointment with CAMHs had been scheduled for the following day. Originally, the appointment was scheduled for January 30, but was brought forward when her mother found a suicide diary and medication under her daughter’s bed.
During the inquest, the coroner, Dr Myra Cullinane, noted evidence that more resources were needed for child and adolescent mental health services and recommended that more support and information be provided to parents while they waited for their children to be seen.
Last month, children’s charity Barnardo’s highlighted the latest HSE figures which show 2,333 children waiting for mental health services.
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