A FAMILY has criticised the breakdown in care received by an aspiring dentist who fell from a railway bridge in Burnley.

An inquest heard 24-year-old Nabila Shafiq died of multiple injuries after she fell from the bridge in Arch Street on July 19.


The student, who had a history of mental health problems, had quit studying for her degree in dentistry at the University of Birmingham and returned home to Clockhouse Grove, Burnley a few months before she died, the hearing was told.

Richard Taylor, senior coroner for East Lancashire said there had been ‘a break down in her care from the mental health team’.

In a statement read to the inquest at Burnley Registration Office, Miss Shafiq’s mother, Shaheen, said her daughter, who had studied at Marsden Heights Community College, was a humble girl, who wanted to do well and was very academic.

She said: “In her fourth year of university she had to take time out due to mental health issues.

“She could hear voices in her head.

“She was in touch with the crisis team and on medication but did not take it on a regular basis.

“She was off university for two and half years but found a job locally. She wanted to get herself better.”

“She had arranged to return to university earlier this year.

“The day before she died I asked her if she would like to sleep in my room. We had done this before.

“At 2.45am I saw she had gone. I phoned my brother and sister and in the morning we went to the police station to report her missing and we were told she had been found by officers in Arch Street.”

A statement was read on behalf of her case manager at the East Lancs Intervention Team, who said Miss Shafiq was receiving a range of treatments including cognitive behavioural therapy.

The inquest heard the team had helped Miss Shafiq find work and join a ladies football team and it was always her intention to return to her studies in Birmingham, but when she heard voices she felt she would ‘never be fit to return and her motivation suffered.’ She got back on track and returned to university in April which ‘she was looking forward to albeit with some worry’, the inquest heard.

However by the end of April she had left her course again.

The inquest heard there was some contact with the mental health team in June and July.

Speaking at the inquest, a family spokesman, said: “There was a message on her phone sent to her carer and it was more or less crying out for help. What happened after that cry for help? There was nothing.”

Mr Taylor was told a number of text messages had been sent to her carer from both Miss Shafiq and her mum asking to see the team, but the carer had been off sick and advised them to ring the office before switching their phone off.

Mr Taylor said one of the problems was the team did not know she had come home from Birmingham.

The family spokesman said: “Knowing her condition and the ups and downs would they not keep an eye on it especially when she is texting saying I need help.

“We feel there was a lack of support.

“She was putting a brave face on it thinking she could manage back at university. She got there and everything had gone ‘flop’.

“She came home and obviously things were not right. Does the person (in Birmingham) not phone the team here saying this has happened, can you please follow it up?

“When I read that text message she sent to her carer I was very disappointed to realise that there was no positive feedback for her knowing how desperate her situation was.

“There should have been something there.”

Mr Taylor said: “There seems to have been a considerable break-down in communication.

“There was a lack of care provision. I accept that.”

Recording a narrative verdict, Mr Taylor, described Miss Shafiq as a ‘talented young lady’.

He said: “I am told she was determined, very capable and these mental health issues completely overwhelmed her. She found it very difficult to cope with them.

“While suffering from mental health problems Miss Shafiq died following a fall from a railway bridge.”

He added: “There had been a break down in her care from the mental health team.”