Rachel Power, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said: “The circumstances of Averil Hart’s death have become no less shocking and tragic with the passing of time.

“Every NHS institution that should have helped her instead let her down. Each of those institutions then at best failed to identify its failings, and at worst covered them up. It is a horrifying case study in malpractice.

“The NHS is a remarkable organisation, staffed by dedicated people who help millions of patients every week. But you wouldn’t know that from what happened to Averil – cases of this enormity are mercifully rare, but absolutely inexcusable.”

Notes for Editors:

Comment in response to a Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) report published Friday 8 December 2017: ‘Ignoring the alarms: How NHS eating disorder services are failing patients’.