A VETERAN coroner has called on Health Secretary Matt Hancock to launch an inquiry after the death of a young woman who had discharged herself from a mental health unit in Bolton.

Rebecca Henry lost her life after stepping out in front of a train at Farnworth station, last January, a Bolton inquest heard earlier this year.

The 26-year-old, known as Becca to family and friends, had walked out of the Oak Ward at the Royal Bolton Hospital that same day.

She had made three attempts on her own life previously and had been admitted voluntarily to the unit, on police advice, following another tentative bid at Oxford Road station in Manchester.

An investigation was launched by Greater Manchester Mental Health Foundation NHS Trust, in light of her death, and extra training was offered to several staff.

Now Prof John Pollard, an assistant Manchester West coroner, has written to the Health Secretary, after conducting inquests identifying similar issues over the past 40 years, where he felt “issues might have been explained and lives saved”.

He added: “The reason given in the present case, as in so many others, is that of patient confidentiality.

“Whilst the medical authorities are usually right in their interpretation, one wonders whether some form of inquiry/commission might be established to review the law on confidentiality and especially where it interfaces with those patients who have ‘capacity’ but where their relatives have valuable information which could help doctors decide on best care and treatment.”

Miss Henry, from Bangor, North Wales, had suffered from borderline personality disorder but was studying to be a mental health nurse in Manchester at the time of her death.

Her mother, Sara Richardson, described her as “a good person who always wanted to help everyone”.

The Department of Health and Social Care, which represents Mr Hancock, was unavailable for comment last night.

His department is required to officially respond to the coroner’s notice within 56 days.