IMPROVEMENTS must be made to ensure other young patients do not suffer at a mental health hospital, an inquest has concluded.

Kelly Campbell, 17, from Basildon, was being treated for bulimia at Rochford Hospital and had a history of self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

A jury ruled that she killed herself after she was found hanged in her room.

Returning a verdict of suicide after a two-day inquest, the jury said they hoped for “lessons learnt and improvements made after her death” to ensure others would not suffer.

Kelly had initially been a voluntary patient on the Poplar Adolescent Unit but was detained under the Mental Health Act after a similar suicide attempt in December.

The teenager, who her doctor described as “bright and wonderful”, had been under constant staff observation which was stepped down to hourly observations at the time she died.

But the final check at 1am before she was found dead was “overlooked”, the court heard.

Kelly was found hanged in the bathroom part of her room shortly after 2pm. She was pronounced dead at about 2.45am on February 12.

Her mother Paula Claxton called on the Poplar Adolescent Unit, where Kelly had been treated, to be made a better place for youngsters to stay by being made more colourful and with more equipment for them to use throughout the night.

Her doctor, Joshua Westbury, admitted taking a “therapeutic risk” in her treatment before she died.

Her mother, Ms Claxton, questioned why her daughter was allowed frequent leave from the ward in between being under constant supervision.

Ms Claxton, who attended the inquest alone, said: “At the first meeting you said we needed to get Kelly treated quickly but she was frequently given so much leave which let her come home to continue the behaviour which you were there to help.”

Psychiatrist Dr Joshua Westbury said: “I took a therapeutic risk in order to see if we could make progress. Several members of staff were seeing Kelly appear brighter and making positive steps.

“The approach to leave was changed week-to-week and there was at least one period where leave was stopped altogether. We try not to be overly restrictive. It is important to remember that early on Kelly was a voluntary patient and agreeing to very restrictive measures and that would not have been possible without some leave.”

Anyone who is having suicidal thoughts can talk to the Samaritans on 116 123.