A mental health nurse who was suffering with alcohol problems and had previously self-harmed took her own life, an inquest heard.

Coroner Richard Taylor said the death of 37-year-old Sarah Braithwaite could 'not have been anticipated', despite intervention by friends, colleagues, police and the mental health crisis team on the morning of the day she died.

At an inquest in Accrington Town Hall, Mr Taylor said Sarah had been found dead at home at around 6pm, by her husband Paul, on September 1.

A post-mortem examination determined Sarah died as a result of hanging, while tests noted she had alcohol in her system more than twice that of the drink-drive limit.

On the morning of September 1, the mother of one, from Colne, had gone to work on the Hyndburn ward at Pendleview on the Royal Blackburn Hospital site.

Friend and colleague, Heather Bainton, said she knew about Sarah's drinking but she had always remained relatively secretive about it.

She said: "I think she was quite ashamed of it and she struggled with it."

Ms Bainton told the inquest that Sarah has been extremely anxious about an impending move to a different ward, and one which would require her to work with men rather than women, as an incident some years earlier, involving a male patient, had caused her a great amount of stress.

Ms Bainton said: "She didn't want to move and didn't want to work with men, the wards are very different, and she was anxious about losing the close relationship she had with the staff on Hyndburn ward."

On the day of her death, Sarah arrived at work at about 8.30am, but on speaking with the nurse in charge, it was clear she had been drinking and was in great distress.

It was decided that Sarah should go home and she was taken to the family room while the nurse in charge could call a taxi as she didn't think it would be wise for Sarah to drive.

At this point Sarah decided to leave and drive herself home.

Manager Rebecca Simpson said: "The nurse in charge told me they thought Sarah had been under the influence of drink and was told to go home, but when I went to find her in the family room she wasn't there."

Ms Simpson had been contacted by Sarah's mother, Pat Melvin, the previous year, who had explained Sarah had been having some issues with drink.

With this in mind, Ms Simpson decided to call 999, as she was concerned she might have driven home drunk.

She also requested an officer make a welfare call on Sarah.

PC Amelia Warren was sent to Sarah's home in Alkincoats Road, and it was here that she had an extensive conversation with the 37-year-old after finding her very distressed and emotional.

PC Warren told the inquest: "She was in no way intoxicated but admitted she had had some vodka that morning. She told me she was scared about the move at work, and we talked and she seemed to calm down.

"I asked if she'd ever thought about taking her own life and she told me she had tried to in the past. That was when I called the mental health access line and made the decision to stay with her until they had assessed her."

Sarah was assessed by Sophie Gould, who told the inquest she 'never gave me any cause for concern about self-harm and confined her current state to worry about the move at work'.

PC Warren then left and Mr Braithwaite came home around 10am and then went back to work. Text messages were then exchanged between Sarah and her husband, as well as Ms Bainton, but these stopped around 11.30am.

Mr Taylor said: "Between 11.30am and the time Paul got home she had drank a lot of alcohol, but sadly that didn't prevent her from doing what she did and because of that I will return a conclusion of suicide."

A review of Sarah's mental health care and the events of the morning was conducted but the actions taken on the day she died were deemed to be appropriate by the trust.

Mr Taylor added: "I have to look at these sort of deaths and think 'could what happened have been anticipated? But from the information we've had today and the care she was shown on the morning of September 1, I don't think anyone could've anticipated what was going to happen."