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Mental health centre missed chance to save Channel 4 executive, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 May 2012

Sarah Mulvey. Picture by Central News

Sarah Mulvey. Picture by Central News

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A mental health centre has been accused of missing the chance to save the life of a high-flying Channel 4 executive who died of an overdose at her Hampstead home.

A mental health centre has been accused of missing the chance to save the life of a high-flying Channel 4 executive who died of an overdose at her Hampstead home.

Sarah Mulvey, 34, had self-harmed since the age of eight and in the weeks leading up to her death had been suffering flashbacks of sexual abuse she endured as a child.

She had been off work with extreme stress after falling out with her managers over claims that she was “systematically bullied”, an inquest heard at St Pancras Coroner’s Court.

She was seeking treatment for mental health problems at the Drayton Park Crisis Centre in Islington, run by Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust.

But she stormed out of the centre after a blazing row in January 2010 and died from an overdose at her flat in Well Walk the next day.

Her father, Dr Christopher Mulvey, criticised doctors at the crisis centre.

He said: “We find it absolutely incredible that, even after Sarah stormed out in an obviously deeply distressed state, no one at the crisis centre impressed on the GP practice the seriousness of the situation.

“Sarah was known to be suicidal. She had also said to the crisis centre that she would not commit suicide on the premises.

“The implication is quite clear to me. Her doctor said that if someone had contacted him, he would have been in touch with Sarah straight away.”

He added: “There were so many opportunities to help her and they were not taken.”

As commissioning editor at Channel 4, Ms Mulvey was in charge of making popular programmes including How To Look Good Naked and Brat Camp.

Her therapist said warning signs showing Ms Mulvey was in danger of committing suicide were ignored by the NHS.

The inquest continues.

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