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Background Info

My 16-year-old daughter Britney made an appointment with her local GP without my knowledge or consent.  She explained to the GP that she was a self-harmer and was having night terrors and suffering from depression and anxiety, and having suicidal impulses.  Britney was 16 years old at the time of the appointment.

The GP subsequently prescribed 40mg of Propanol to be taken three times a day and this prescription was duly filled by the local pharmacist with 84 tablets issued – a month’s supply at once.

At no stage was I aware of the consultation with the GP or that Britney had been prescribed this medication or the quantity of medication prescribed, because the law currently allows GPs to prescribe young persons under-18 medication without the knowledge or consent of the parents or guardians.

Sixteen days later, Britney overdosed on Propanol.  The police confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances.  This was the first I know of my daughter’s prescription and consultation with her GP, despite the fact she express to her GP that she had mental health concerns.  I was not made aware of this until after my daughter’s death.

I believe that the type of medication and care required specifically related to mental health issues requires a particular approach when diagnosing and treating these kinds of conditions in younger people.

The strength and effect of some mental health medications make it important that parents and guardians are fully involved and aware of the circumstances, allowing them to support treatment and ensure that pathways of care are most appropriate for their children.

The quantity and strength of medications prescribed to Britney represented a danger to herself, and I believe that my daughter may still be with us if I had been privy to the information that was vital to her care and health issues.

There are undoubtedly cases where young people with mental health issues require prescription medication, in addition to other forms of care.  However this should only be done in the case of under-18s with the involvement, knowledge and consent of the parents or guardians.

I ask the Petitions Committee to investigate this issue fully to try and ensure no more parents have to go through what I have gone through in recent months.

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