A psychiatrist who was treating a teenager for a number of complex issues, including self-harm, has admitted he had difficulty communicating with her mum about her care.
Dr Luke McQuitty, formally of CAMHS, gave evidence at Dundee Sheriff Court during the fourth day of an inquest into the death of Sophie Parkinson.
Sophie, from Liff, took her own life in 2014 when she was aged 13 and a second year pupil at Dundee High School.
The youngster was receiving psychological and psychiatric treatment from CAMHS at the time, however Dr McQuitty told the court Sophie was “adamant” she did not want to discuss her care in front of her mother, Ruth Moss.
He said this placed him in a position of conflict between his young patient’s confidentiality and the need to share information about her care with her mother.
And he said this resulted in him having “quiet conversations” with Mrs Moss at the side of a waiting area, rather than in his consulting room.
Dr McQuitty said: “I always asked to bring her mum into the room to discuss her care and she said no.
“That was my preferred way of sharing information but Miss Parkinson was adamant not to have her mum in the room so I had to find other ways to pass some information over.”
Mrs Moss previously told the court that she felt she did not receive enough information about Sophie’s treatment and medication.
Dr McQuitty agreed that some written information on her medication would have been helpful, had it been available in a format to pass on to patients – which it was not.
But he said he did pass on information verbally, at the “edge” of a waiting area where he hoped his voice was “quiet enough to protect the confidentiality”.
Mrs Moss has also criticised the fact she was never given a formal diagnosis of her daughter’s mental health issues, despite her being prescribed anti-depressants.
Dr McQuitty said that there was no formal diagnosis carried out on Sophie and that she was being treated for symptoms related to several issues.
He said these included what he described as “depressive episodes” along with several other factors including attachment issues, anxiety, problems with interpersonal relationships, self-harm and suicidal ideation.
Dr McQuitty also said he was continually assessing Sophie’s risk of self-harm during every appointment, which was feeling into Dr Smith’s assessment and that of Sophie’s care team.
The inquiry continues.