A mother-of-three sadly took her own life after waiting for a month to access mental health services - something that should have taken five days.

Laura Kate Corkin, 43, was found in her Helmshore home by her fiancé on May 10, two days after her birthday, an inquest heard.

Laura worked as a legal secretary for many years before leaving to study and work in care and then nursing.

Her family said that she was a loving, caring mother, daughter, sister and auntie, and had so many friends who all miss her dearly.

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The family said: “She was the loveliest, most kind person. She had time for everybody.

“She liked doing things for people, giving acts of kindness like helping with Haslingden Food Pantry.

“She is so loved and missed by us all.”

Laura had been struggling with her mental health for some time, having first spoken with her GP in 2006.

Her family said that Laura had a lot on her plate with her recovering from a hip operation and being concerned about money due to her not working.

They noticed that she was not as active on her social media at the start of the year and were becoming more concerned about her and contacted her GP.

She was referred by Haslingden Healthcare to mental health services - the Pennine Network - for a routine consultation on March 29, which should have seen Laura contacted within five days.

Due to the service only being introduced in January, Jacqueline Latham, a service manager for the urgent care pathway at Pennine Network within the Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Trust, said that staffing was low at the time of the referral and that Laura was not contacted in the five-day time frame.

It was not until a second GP referral made on April 26 which was flagged as urgent, that Laura was finally contacted by services.

At the time they phoned her, she was spending the weekend with her children, she asked to be contacted when they were not there on the Tuesday, May 3.

The inquest, in Accrington, heard Laura was working with services daily, agreeing to work with the home team and considered going to Oak House, a retreat to help those struggling.

As she was having a weekend away with friends over her birthday, she asked for there to be no contact over the weekend and that she would resume working with them on May 10.

On May 10, a health worker visited her home on Windsor Avenue at about 3.30pm but there was no reply.

Laura’s fiancé, Andrew Duffy, came back to her house a couple of hours later to find a note, before he sadly found Laura’s body.

The inquest was told that Laura had been having suicidal thoughts, but in March said that because of her love for her children, she did not want to act on them.

However, her thoughts had escalated in April, which triggered the urgent referral.

She told services that she felt very low, that she felt she was not a good mother, as well as having other worries, including finances.

Laura’s family question whether, if she had been contacted in the five days when she was referred in March, circumstances could have been different.

However Coroner Kate Bissett said that it is impossible to say whether earlier intervention would have made a difference.

The coroner returned a verdict of suicide.

Ms Bissett said: “Had that have gone through before, she could have been here today.

“We will never know whether it [earlier intervention] could have made a difference.”

Since Laura’s death, services are said to have improved, with most routine referrals being contacted within the five-day time frame.

Ms Bissett added: “If Laura went there [mental health services] today, she would not have been waiting the month that she did.”

A spokesperson for Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCft), said: “We accept the findings and recommendations of HM Coroner during the inquest of Laura Corkin’s and reiterate our condolences to her family.

“Following Laura’s death, we launched a thorough investigation, and have identified and implemented learning.

“We accept that the waiting time for a referral response was longer than we would have hoped, due to significant increased demand.

"We have put an improvement plan in place to ensure we can meet this increased demand and the team who take these are now working well within key targets for both urgent and routine referrals.

"This remains under regular review as part of standard governance arrangements.”

If you feel you are in a mental health crisis or emergency and may be in danger of causing harm to yourself or others then please contact your GP, the Samaritans on 116 123 or attend A&E.