'Happy-go-lucky' mum died in Ipswich days after news of second lockdown

Great grandmother Patricia Hughes died as the result of a serious fire Suffolk Coroners Court heard

Julie Booth, 55, died in Ipswich on November 2 2020, Suffolk Coroners Court heard. - Credit: Archant

A "happy-go-lucky" mum died in Ipswich shortly before the second lockdown, Suffolk Coroner's Court has heard.

An inquest into the death of Julie Booth, 55, held on Tuesday, heard her death was "a complete shock" and that no one in the family "saw it coming".

Mrs Booth, who was diagnosed with depression in 2001, went to Ravenswood Medical Practice in March 2020 after having "worsening anxiety".

She was referred for help to Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) and again had "anxiety and poor sleep" during summer 2020, Suffolk coroner Tim Deeming heard.

Mr Deeming was told by the trust and her GP that Mrs Booth was aware of the support available through NSFT, her GP and in an emergency through 999 and A&E. 

She also attended a four-week online stress course and CBT therapy in September along with a group review and was discharged through "mutual consent" in October, the coroner was told.

A statement by the trust said that a factor in her declining more help was "she did not like interaction with the course". 

Most Read

Instead, Mrs Booth had opted for a private counsellor for her anxiety but expressed no other mental health issues. 

After a few sessions they had a break and Mrs Booth did not respond to any appointment texts, which sometimes happens, the court heard. 

Her counsellor said in a statement there was "no reason to believe her life was in danger".

She died on November, 2 2020 just days after the government announced the second lockdown on October 31 and Mrs Booth's husband Rodger, was asked by Mr Deeming if this "played a role". 

Mr Booth said she was "anxious and was worried as we went back in lockdown" and believed it could have contributed to her death. 

He described his wife as a "happy go lucky" and said the family was in "complete shock" and did not see it coming.

"She was getting better," Mr Booth also told the court. 

Mr Deeming concluded by saying Mrs Booth had a medical history of depression and died at home. 

If you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week. You can also download the Stay Alive app on Apple & Android.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter