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Lisa McCarthy death: Family of Finsbury mum accuses mental health carers of ‘leaving her to rot’

PUBLISHED: 08:22 12 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:30 12 July 2018

Lisa McCarthy was found dead in her flat on June 4. Picture: family of Lisa McCarthy

Lisa McCarthy was found dead in her flat on June 4. Picture: family of Lisa McCarthy

Archant

A mental illness care team has been accused of “neglect” after a Finsbury mum was found dead in her flat.

Lisa McCarthy in happier times with daughter Shannon. Picture: family of Lisa McCarthyLisa McCarthy in happier times with daughter Shannon. Picture: family of Lisa McCarthy

The body of Lisa McCarthy was discovered in Grimthorpe House, Percival Street, on June 4 – her 41st birthday.

Lisa, who suffered from schizophrenia, was under the long-term legal care of South Islington Recovery Team.

Her family claim they raised numerous concerns about her wellbeing. They said Lisa, who was living independently, should have been in sheltered accommodation.

Mum Margaret told the Gazette: “They treated my daughter absolutely disgusting. They left her to rot when they had a duty of care.”

An inquest into Lisa’s death is set to take place at St Pancras Coroner’s Court on September 28.

Camden and Islington NHS Trust, which oversees the South Islington Recovery Team for people with psychotic illnesses, extended its “deepest sympathies” and said it was doing an internal probe.

Lisa had suffered mental illness since being diagnosed with post-natal depression after the birth of daughter Shannon 17 years ago.

Margaret claims her flat was in an “appalling state” and her personal hygiene deteriorating. When she raised her concerns, Margaret claims they were swept away.

Lisa’s condition was said to worsen when she was moved – apparently without her family’s knowledge – from her long-term home in Church House, Compton Street, to the “tiny bedsit” in Grimthorpe House.

Margaret said her daughter was on strong medication and left to her own devices when she was “clearly not capable of making any sane decisions”.

“I asked time and time again,” she said, “for her to be put into sheltered accommodation, where she could be looked after. Instead I got her back in a body bag.

“They have left me heartbroken.”

On the day Lisa’s body was found, Margaret and Shannon had not seen or heard from her for five days when they approached staff at the care office. They claim they were told to “get out” after they criticised the care Lisa had received.

Shannon called the police, with officers forcing entry and finding Lisa dead.

A Camden and Islington NHS Trust spokesman said: “We are in direct contact with Lisa McCarthy’s family and have extended our deepest sympathies to them for their loss.

“We are carrying out an internal investigation into Ms McCarthy’s death to establish the exact circumstances and will be sure to address any areas where we need to take action. We will invite the family to be part of our investigation and subsequently share its findings with them.

“As there will be a formal inquest into the circumstances surrounding her death, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this stage.”

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