She was detained for 6 months in 2002 and then re-detained in mid-2005.
When seen by a doctor working with Medical Justice she had been at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre for 7 months and had become severely depressed with marked suicidal risk.
Healthcare at Yarl’s Wood were completely unaware of this, but B was placed on 24 hour suicide watch straight away once they were informed.
B also suffers asthma and has marked stress-induced high blood pressure.
Three removal attempts had to be abandoned because B became too ill during each of them. B was not facing imminent removal at the time she was seen. She had become suicidally depressed at the prospect of her ongoing and indefinite detention. B also had a previous history of trying to take her own life after her daughter was killed and during her previous period in detention.
B was assessed by a psychiatrist who works at the local mental health unit and who regularly provides psychiatric assessments of detainees at Yarl’s Wood. Despite her traumatic history, her previous suicidal behaviour, the findings of two other doctors and that B was on continuous 24 hour suicide watch, the psychiatrist found after a cursory examination B was not depressed and recommended she receive no treatment. She remained on suicide watch after this but her depression and suicide risk was not treated.
Fortunately B was released on bail soon afterwards and her depression was treated in the community."
Dr Jonathan Fluxman
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 January 2008 13:32