Speaking in response to today’s (Monday 2 July 2018) conclusion of the inquest into the death of Jackie Maguire in 2017, Tim Cooper, Chief Executive at United Response, says:

“We were incredibly shocked and saddened by Jackie’s death in 2017. Our heartfelt thoughts continue to be with her loved ones at what has undoubtedly been an unimaginably difficult period.

“We cared for Jackie for nearly 20 years and were actively involved in all aspects of her life. She had a brilliant sense of humour and was great fun to be with, and we still miss her very much.

“The jury has today concluded that Jackie died of natural causes and the Coroner has stated he will be writing to Fylde Coast Medical Service’s out of hours GP service.

“We are profoundly sorry for Jackie’s death. It has highlighted vital lessons for each organisation involved in her care to learn from and act upon, and we are doing everything we can to minimise the chances of something like it happening again.

“People with learning disabilities like Jackie often need someone to advocate on their behalf to make sure they receive the right care at the right time, especially when it comes to their health. We accept that in Jackie’s case this did not happen well enough.

“Since Jackie’s very sad death, we have run our own investigation into what happened, improved our staff training and updated our approach to advocacy to ensure those we support receive the timely healthcare they need.

“For far too long, the untimely deaths of people with learning disabilities have been ignored by wider society.

“But the recent increased profile of such sad and preventable deaths is a welcome step towards raising awareness and implementing positive change. Bristol University’s Learning Disabilities Mortality Review has this year highlighted the incidence of specific medical conditions in learning disability deaths, and we urge NHS England to do more to address these.

“We hope that similar reviews and future public inquests will push all agencies, including our own, to continue to improve. Working closely with others, including healthcare professionals, we are absolutely committed to providing truly integrated support for those with learning disabilities in the future.”