THE family of a woman who died after falling from a bridge on the M27 were told health workers could not respond to a crisis call as their office was about to close, an inquest has heard.

Seventy four year old retired nurse Marion Munns died on November 12 last year after suffering a severe mental health breakdown.

Her daughter Kim Vella, 57, told the inquest that on the day her mother died Kim had contacted Southern Health NHS foundation trust because she was worried about her mother’s behaviour.

She said the carer, Emma Bulbrooke, told her to go to her mother's house and ‘do the best I could’ and that the office was closing at five o’clock.

Mrs Munns was later found dead on the motorway, after having fled her home through an upstairs window.

At the four day inquest at Winchester Coroner’s Court, coroner Grahame Short acknowledged that there had been failings within the trust regarding Marion’s care but that there had been significant policy changes since the tragedy.

Now Marion’s daughter Angela Mote, 55, is calling on the trust to learn from its mistakes in the hope that other vulnerable patients can avoid a similar fate.

She said: “The woman my family saw that night simply wasn’t my mum.

"My mum was a gentle, giving woman who would do anything for anyone.

"That night she was a woman in the depths of crisis and help simply didn’t come.

“Southern Health’s apologies will never bring my mum back. But if I could ask them just one thing it would be to take a long hard look at themselves, identify their shortcomings and please, for the sake of other vulnerable people, change.”

A grandmother of three, Marion had retired as a nurse from Southampton General Hospital in 1999.

But in August 2014 she suffered a breakdown and her health began to decline.

Interim CEO at the beleaguered Southern Health trust Julie Dawes said: “Upon joining the Trust, I was extremely saddened to learn of the terrible circumstances of Mrs Munns’ death, and I would like to apologise and offer my sincerest condolences to her family during what I know has been a very difficult time.

“We fully accept the Coroner’s conclusion and acknowledge that some of the care arrangements for Mrs Munns could have been better.

“What stands out for me is the importance of listening to families. We still have a lot to do in this area, and I am absolutely committed to driving through the necessary changes within the organisation.

“The internal investigation we have conducted into Mrs Munns’ death highlighted a number of concerns, and we are pleased that our efforts to address these have been recognised by the Coroner.

"Following the investigation, we have made comprehensive changes across our Older Persons Mental Health Service.

“Our thoughts remain with Mrs Munns’ family at this time.”

Pathologist Dr Adnan Al-Badri told the inquest that the toxicology report showed no traces of anti-pyschotic drug risperidone, which Mrs Munns had been prescribed.