A woman suffering from anorexia was discovered dead in her home by doctors who failed to keep an eye on her during lockdown. An inquest found that the cause of death had been committed.

Louise Cooper, 44 years old, succumbed to severe malnutrition. After suffering an eating disorder “for many years”, she had a BMI of ‘extremely low.

After failing to contact her, a friend entered her house to collect some groceries. Upon arrival she discovered that her body was dead on her bed. 

Last month’s inquest found that Louise didn’t receive the monitoring she had been expected to get during 2020 lockdown. This also affected her treatment.

According to the court, if she had received monitoring as she was supposed to, she probably wouldn’t have died.

The Senior Coroner Alan Wilson filed a Prevention of Future Deaths Report. It noted that Louise had told her friends that all of her mechanisms for dealing with her illness were gone before she died.

The report has been sent to the Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, the Blackpool Clinical Commission Group and the Fylde & Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group who must respond with actions taken. 

According to the coroner, Louise was described as intelligent, thoughtful, and caring. She had also been admitted to hospital several times as part of anorexia treatment. 

Pictured: Louise Cooper, 44, was found dead at home after doctors failed to monitor her anorexia during lockdown, a coroner heard as he filed a prevention of future deaths report

Pictured: Louise Cooper (44), was discovered dead in her home from anorexia after doctors failed monitor it during lockdown. A coroner was informed as he filed a report on prevention of future deaths

After her July 2019 discharge, she was then transferred to an eating disorder program until January 2020.

“Louise knew that the psychologist she’d worked with for many years was going to be on maternity leaves,” said the coroner.

“She didn’t want to be a part of any Eating Disorder Service team.”

The eating disorder unit discharged her with the agreement that she would continue to be monitored closely by her GP. 

Her BMI was 12,5. Anybody below 15 is considered severe anorexia. Adults below 18 are considered obese.

Charity: “This sad case highlights the need for immediate support.” 

Beat estimates that around 1.25 million UK residents suffer from eating disorders. It is the nation’s only charity offering support and trying to increase awareness to promote better services.

Tom Quinn from Beat’s Director of External Affairs stated: “The pandemic caused a severe impact on those with eating disorders. More people are isolated, leading to an increase in people developing eating disorders. Many people already living with the disease have been affected by Covid-19. The resulting lockdown and Covid-19 has made their illnesses worse.

“This case is a tragic reminder of the need for community support for eating disorders and for GP surgeries to be able monitor those at greatest risk.

The Beat Helpline 0808 801 0677 can be contacted 24/7 to help you or your loved ones. 

Although the Blackpool GP was alerted, an administrative matter meant Louise’s need to be monitored wasn’t appreciated, according to the coroner. 

The report added: ‘During the weeks preceding Louise’s death, her health went into further decline. Part of this was due to the March 2020 coronavirus epidemic, which isolated her further.

“Having previously exchanged texts with Louise May 15, 2020, a close friend visited her house at 12.30 on May 16, 2020 in order to collect some of the shopping she had previously ordered.

“Unable to get a response, he forced access and found Louise dead on her rear bed.

The coroner recorded a narrative conclusion in an inquest that took place on December 17. He stated: “Louise Cooper died from complications caused by her anorexia.nervosa, which was not being monitored at the time of her death on May 16, 2020.”

Wilson made several concerns in his report about Louise’s treatment.

He stated that she told friends that her condition was now worsened by the national lockdown imposed on Covid-19 because of pandemic.

A trust review found Louise, who was isolated due to Covid, may have had an impact on her mental and/or physical health because of decreased social contacts.

‘Louise didn’t receive the monitoring she expected to get in 2020.

The court found that, if she had been given the proper monitoring, it was possible that she wouldn’t have died as she did. But, they were unable to state that she would still have survived. 

It was noted in the report that she received care as part of her treatment. Louise was provided one-on-one assistance by a professional who visited her every week to sit down with her and help her eat a meal.

Louise’s father stated during the hearing, that if this support had continued, the outcome could have been different. 

According to the coroner, Louise may have made minimal or no improvement in hospital but could benefit from continued supported eating.

“If this option isn’t available, patients might not have any realistic hope of meaningful improvement.”

Pictured: Louise, who worked for Impact Computing, was described by colleagues as a 'very thoughtful, caring, intelligent and determined individual who always put others before herself

Pictured: Louise was a colleague at Impact Computing. She was described as an intelligent, thoughtful, caring and determined individual, who put the needs of others first.

The report has been also sent to Gillian Keegan MP and Department of Health and Social Care.

A spokesperson for Department for Health and Social Care assured that they would reply to the report as soon as possible.

Within 56 days, the coroner must respond with details about proposed improvements or changes.

An spokesperson from South Cumbria and Lancashire NHS Foundation Trust stated that: “We are sorry for the loss of Louise Cooper.

“We received the Regulation 28 Report and we will implement all recommendations.”

Louise was a finance/administrator at Impact Computing. Her death in May 2020 brought out the Bosses.

On Facebook, it stated that “Today’s company mourns Louise Cooper’s passing, which sadly occurred this Saturday 16th of Mai 2020,”.

Louise was a member of our Finance and Administration department. She played a significant role in the growth and development of the company over the many years she spent with us.

Louise was very intelligent, thoughtful, caring and intelligent.

She was a tireless worker to rectify the injustices that she witnessed in the world. This effort helped her to reach as many people possible during her lifetime. We will all miss her.