7th September 2020

Technology Cambridge anorexic woman who died ‘wanted to be assessed’

Technology Cambridge anorexic woman who died ‘wanted to be assessed’


Technology Mandy BowlesImage copyright
Family photo

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Amanda Bowles had asked her GP for medical monitoring

A woman with anorexia died after asking to be regularly assessed as it would make her “happier”, an inquest has heard.

Amanda Bowles, 45, was found at her Cambridge home in September 2017.

The inquest heard Ms Bowles was not monitored for about four months after she was discharged from the eating disorder service.

The inquest is the latest to be heard of a cluster of five deaths of people with anorexia between 2012 and 2018.

Sean Horstead, assistant coroner for Cambridgeshire, is overseeing the investigations into the deaths of patients who were being treated by local NHS mental health teams.

The hearing was told that Ms Bowles telephoned her GP surgery on 13 April 2017 and told them she had not been monitored since her discharge from the service in December 2016.

On 25 May Dr Mark Dourish visited Ms Bowles at her home to carry out an assessment before regular monitoring by district nurses could take place.

He said he took her temperature and blood pressure – both of which produced readings normal for the patient. Ms Bowles was also “able to perform the squat test without difficulty”, he said.

Technology ‘No scales’

The inquest heard Ms Bowles should have also been weighed during the home visit, but she had told Dr Dourish she had no scales.

A representative for Ms Bowles family said she had two sets of scales at home. “I took her at her word,” Dr Dourish said.

Dr Dourish said he did not think Ms Bowles was trying to hide her weight since she had asked for monitoring to take place.

The inquest had heard Ms Bowles had said she would be “happier” if monitoring took place.

Dr Dourish said: “I took it as a positive and reassuring sign that she was trying to get us back involved again.”

The inquest heard Ms Bowles was registered for “assisted technology” which meant she was responsible for measuring her own weight and reporting this to the GP surgery.

Dr Dourish said it would not have been a system he would have recommended for Ms Bowles.

The recorded cause of Ms Bowles’ death was pneumonia.

A pathology report said her eating disorder was likely to have contributed.

The inquest continues.


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