A FAMILY have questioned why staff at a Southampton mental health facility did not watch over a patient more closely after she revealed she was thinking about jumping off a building.

It comes as the inquest began into the death of 49-year-old mum Maria Duarte, commonly known as ‘Joey’, after an incident at Southern Health’s Antelope House facility.

Winchester Coroner’s Court heard Mrs Duarte was found hanged in her room at around 12pm on January 19 last year, and was pronounced dead a short time later at Southampton General Hospital, despite attempts to save her.

The inquest heard Mrs Duarte had been suffering from mental health problems for a number of years after issues in her childhood, and had been receiving treatment in Dorset for post-natal depression before moving to Southampton where she set up a catering business with husband Marco.

However, after a breakdown in the relationship, Mrs Duarte’s mental health problems returned, eventually leading to overdoses of her medication.

The inquest heard that while living at the Antelope House facility, Mrs Duarte’s low mood and depression continued.

Her husband, who she became close to again prior to her death, and her sister Maria Catanho were both at the inquest and said Mrs Duarte needed more help while she was being treated at Antelope House.

Mr Duarte also quizzed her psychiatrist Dr Obed Bekoe on why her hourly observations had not been increased despite an outburst that resulted in a table being thrown over on January 18, and her telling student nurse Samantha Crebo on the day of her death that she had thought about jumping off the Ikea building in the city.

Ms Crebo said in her statement that Mrs Duarte went back to her room to rest, while Dr Bekoe said: “She was usually calm and cooperative,” adding there was “no clinical reason” to increasing her observations.

There were also concerns about whether Mrs Duarte knew she could ask for more medication when required, but Dr Bekoe said it had been explained to her.

During the inquest, Mrs Duarte’s sister said: “Joey was a very caring person and loved by everyone... She was everything to me.”

The inquest, which has been scheduled to last for four days, although could conclude as early as Tuesday, continues.