Justice for Libby Rose

by Justice for Libby Rose

Justice for Libby Rose

by Justice for Libby Rose
Justice for Libby Rose
Case Owner
Libby was 16, she had bulimia. She died. She was failed by multi-agency services. We want a public inquiry into the failings in her care to prevent this from happening again.
on 01st December 2018
pledged of £8,000 stretch target from 209 pledges
Justice for Libby Rose
Case Owner
Libby was 16, she had bulimia. She died. She was failed by multi-agency services. We want a public inquiry into the failings in her care to prevent this from happening again.

Latest: Nov. 9, 2020

Some good news!!

My solicitor has written to me today, she has received a letter from the Coroner. He has agreed to look at our request for a new Inquest into Libby’s death afresh which is a positive step forward. …

Read more

On August 26, 2017 our wonderful, clever, intelligent daughter Libby died. She had just turned 16.

In the space of just a couple of years, Libby transformed from a bright, ambitious young girl into the victim of orthorexia, anorexia, and bulimia. 

Libby was so much more than her illness and her death.  

Who we are?

We are Rosemary, Libby's mum, also a nurse and Ricky, Libby’s dad, who lives and works in Brussels. Libby, and her brother Alex, enjoyed a close, loving and active relationship with us both.

We are all angry and frustrated, broken. We want to know why Libby did not receive early specialist support and the subsequent therapy that she needed to prevent her unnecessary death.

We are determined to find out what happened and what could have been done to prevent Libby’s death. We want to know what changes are needed to improve services for others suffering from eating disorders.  This is only possible through a full and fierce inquest. Please contribute to our legal challenge now and share this page with your friends, family and on social media.

Libby's story

Libby was a beautiful young woman. She was clever, powerful, argumentative, loving, supportive, and caring. Libby had an empathy for others that she did not receive when she needed it most.

The usual teenage tantrums aside, as parents we were sure that Libby was on a good path. She had like-minded, sensible friends and was in control of her life. Usually Libby made wise choices, sometimes with just a little guidance from us where needed, and we felt blessed to watch her growing into a successful young woman.

Libby’s decline into anorexia and subsequently bulimia and anorexia was slow and invisible. It began with a diet. As parents we kept a close eye on her weight loss, we never once considered that a simple diet could be the start of the terrible journey we'd unwittingly embarked on. We naively believed our child was smart enough to be sensible and that we would notice if not.

Tragically by the time we realized that Libby had an eating disorder her condition declined rapidly. Our GP referred Libby to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). The CAMHS Team seemed to have little specialist knowledge of eating disorders and Libby struggled to engage with them.  Exploring every possible avenue, we took Libby to a private psychologist who agreed she needed help but we were unable to access this help.

Bulimia finally caused Libby’s potassium to reach such a dangerously low level our GP was finally able to admit her to hospital. Her BMI alone was not low enough to meet guidelines for eating disorder interventions.

Aged just 16 and two weeks and against our and the GP’s wishes, she was placed on an adult ward rather than a paediatric ward where she could be supervised closely.

Both CAMHS eating disorder service and Newbridge eating disorder clinic assessed Libby while in hospital and agreed that inpatient care within an eating disorder clinic was necessary, after initially agreeing to this, Libby later refused to go to the clinic voluntarily.

Acquiring the necessary mental health section took a week, it was finally raised on a Friday evening after the time that Newbridge had said they could admit her. When told she would be admitted under section but had to stay in hospital for the weekend, Libby ran and had to be found and recovered by police and security.

After 3 months at the clinic and against my will, Libby was discharged. She had received almost no therapy and had not recovered. I told staff she had not overcome bulimia, I was ignored. Appropriate medical checks weren’t made before discharge.

During the first two weeks following her discharge Libby had two hospital admissions for dangerously low potassium. Both times CAMHS and Newbridge were informed. No actions were taken to keep Libby safe. I warned she would die without proper help and needed to be readmitted.

Libby persuaded everyone she was recovering, the CAMHs team decided to place her re-admission on hold. Why were the risks I had raised not taken seriously? Why was action not taken to immediately readmit Libby?

The following week, after collecting her GCSE results and having been accepted into college, Libby's heart stopped.

Our legal case

The Coroner has ruled that Libby’s death was natural, due to hypokalemia (low potassium levels leading to cardiac arrest) and has ruled that an inquest is not necessary. Clinically this is fact, however, what has not been considered is that Libby had a serious mental health condition (bulimia) that resulted in hypokalaemia and death.

We believe, along with the support of our solicitor and barrister that opening an inquest to investigate multi-agency failures is in the public interest; however we need to get over the first hurdle which is to convince the Coroner to open an inquest into Libby’s death. 

Our legal team have advised that the first step in doing this is to obtain expert evidence from a Consultant Psychiatrist with expertise in treating children and adolescents with eating disorders to give an opinion on whether Libby’s death was as a direct result of her mental health condition. We will also ask this expert to comment on a number of other issues that would hopefully then persuade the Coroner that an Inquest must be opened into Libby’s death and that this Inquest should be Article 2 compliant.  

How much are we raising and why?

We are asking for your support.  We need your help to fund the instruction of an expert and thereafter for representations to be made to the Coroner to convince him to open an Inquest. Our solicitor has agreed to reduce her fees to minimum Legal Aid rates such is her belief in Libby’s case.

To submit our appeal to the Coroner will cost approximately £1,500- £5,000 on top of the significant amounts we have already spent on getting legal advice. In addition to this we will also need to pay for an expert to support our case as we need evidence that bulimia is a mental health disorder and that it led to the hypokalaemia that killed Libby. This evidence will be submitted along with the submissions to the Coroner to open an inquest.  The eventual total cost of this action is likely to be in the region of £7000. We are therefore starting with an initial target of £3000 to get the process underway but will then go on to raise as much as we can to support this legal action. 

Thank you for your support. 

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Update 15

Justice for Libby Rose

Nov. 9, 2020

Some good news!!

My solicitor has written to me today, she has received a letter from the Coroner. He has agreed to look at our request for a new Inquest into Libby’s death afresh which is a positive step forward. Also following the news report about Averil Hart’s inquest findings, my solicitor has sent him the article that was in the Guardian just stating that we are sure he is already aware but we just wanted to draw his attention to the fact that this report is going to be made and as we believe that there are some overlapping concerns’. The PHSO complaint will also be submitted very shortly. I finally feel I’m getting somewhere. Thanks to all your support in helping me fund my battle. I’ll keep you posted x
Update 14

Justice for Libby Rose

Dec. 17, 2019

PHSO Submission update for Libby

Dear all

Thank you all so much for your previous donations that have  helped to support with my fight to investigate the system that failed Libby and continues to fail 1000's of kids with eating disorders (ED). God forbid you are ever thrown into this world because your child gets sick with this disorder. It can happen to anyone and the supporting mental health services must improve.

I've been quiet for a while but in the background expert witnesses and the General Medical Council (GMC) have been investigating the medical professionals and events that surrounded Libby's death. 

I naively hoped that these investigations would conclude that Libby's death was avoidable, that the services managing her care would be held accountable with changes being recommended and implemented which would help other kids and their families. It appears it's not that simple.

My solicitor and barrister continue to collating all the information being collected, which will be now submitted as a complaint to the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) who will carry out a system wide investigation.

Currently what we've discovered is that, while failings have been acknowledged, many records surrounding Libbys' care are missing or not submitted for scrutiny, making investigations difficult. 

Both the GMC and expert witness investigations have recognized multiple failures, however there are too many pieces of information missing to bring any conclusions or actions at this stage. I am appealing both investigations and continue to request missing information key to Libby's case.

 My legal team are continuing to working with me at legal aid rates because they believe that we have a strong case to take to the PHSO. 

I'm not alone in doing this. Other families have successfully taken their cases to the PHSO, some have managed to achieve an inquest (see Averil Hart). My goal is to achieve an inquest, its harder than I thought it would be and takes a long time. I believe it's worth the pain. I can't walk away from this, its too important, not just for us, its too late for Libby, but change in the way our kids are cared for will only happen if those of us who've been through this awful process bring to light the problems with the system so that others don't have to fall through the same loops.

Funds are getting low now and I am appealing to you to continue to support our fight. Please if you are able to donate again please will you. Please will you share Libby's story as far and wide as you can. Change will only happen if these cases are reviewed and it's hard. I need your help to continue with this.

Thank you so much 


Update 13

Justice for Libby Rose

April 9, 2019

Expert Witness Update

I have heard from my solicitor today who has advised the following..

I have this evening received an email from Dr X confirming that he is now in a position to start working on Libby’s case and asked for the papers. He has asked for them electronically so we will ensure that bundles are sent to him electronically by the end of this week. Hopefully we will have the report within the next 6-8 weeks.

Update 12

Justice for Libby Rose

March 24, 2019

Expert Witness Found

Great news! My solicitor advised me on Friday (one day before Libby’s 18th birthday) that an expert witness we need to support our appeal to the Coroner has been found at last. Many consultants were approached, most did not reply, one had a conflict of interest but really wanted to help as she believed we have a case. 

The expert found really wants to help and believes he can. He will start on Libby’s case in 6-8 weeks.. Please can you share again and if you are able and want to, further donations can still be made to support our case and get the inquest we need.. Thank you all x

Update 11

Justice for Libby Rose

Jan. 27, 2019

Early Intervention

My campaign to convince the coroner to open an inquest will go beyond simply achieving justice for Libby.. I will continue to seek ways to advocate for the urgent need for easily available information and signposting to enable early intervention... I will not give up.. please support me, thank you. 

Update 10

Justice for Libby Rose

Jan. 26, 2019

Update 9

Justice for Libby Rose

Jan. 19, 2019

GP not Psychiatrist

I now have confirmation that the Professional we thought was a Consultant Psychiatrist who we trusted to treat Libby was in fact a non specialist locum general practitioner (GP) recruited by the specialist eating disorder clinic through an agency after his previous clinical practice was closed down by the CQC as inadequate. Would I have trusted this man with the care of my daughter had I known? No!! I would not... 

Update 8

Justice for Libby Rose

Jan. 19, 2019

Expert Witness

My solicitor has started to receive responses from Consultant psychiatrists with experience in treating teens with eating disorders who are able to provide expert opinion. We need this to provide the evidence to the Coroner that bulimia is an illness that should be treated... I know, all the evidence is out there but we still need this.... 

Update 7

Justice for Libby Rose

Dec. 17, 2018

Update from our Solicitor

..We have now approached a number of Consultant Psychiatrists who have expertise in treating eating disorders in adolescents. We are awaiting responses from them to see if they can assist. We will then be instructing the expert in the early part of the New Year to consider Libby’s records and provide us with an opinion, which we can then use as the foundation of our renewed submissions for an Inquest to be opened into Libby’s death”

Update 6

Justice for Libby Rose

Dec. 15, 2018

MP has taken action

Update 5

Justice for Libby Rose

Dec. 4, 2018

Expert Opinion

I have today received this update from my solicitor “we have approached various experts in the field to see if they can assist in providing an opinion on Libby’s case. We are waiting to hear back as to who can assist so we can then instruct them to prepare a report”

Your support is enabling us to achieve this. Thank you all ❤️

Update 4

Justice for Libby Rose

Dec. 1, 2018

Initial target reached!!

Thank you! 

We’ve reached £3k.. I worried we wouldn’t, but your  support has been phenomenal. 

Our MP has promised to take Libby’s case to parliament in London, he’s also asking the coroner to raise an inquest. People with power are noticing the interest in this appeal. Change will happen!! Your support is making this possible xx

Update 3

Justice for Libby Rose

Nov. 30, 2018

MP Backing gained

Mark Pritchard MP now backing us!! 

Update 2

Justice for Libby Rose

Nov. 29, 2018

Hugely impressive Day 1

Night night  from the UK.. Thank you for an amazing Day1.. we’ve covered Part 1 - Initial Solicitor fees. 

Now for Part 2- Expert Psychiatrist who will provide evidence that bulimia is a MH illness, not a choice! 

Thank you all 😘😘😘

Update 1

Justice for Libby Rose

Nov. 29, 2018

Thank you.. Your support is amazing 😘

Wow! Thank you so much to all you superfast donors x

Could you all email the link to friends who don’t use Fb who may wish to support us.

Please copy and tweet if you do twitter 

Include #inquiry4libby

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