An inquest will open next week into the death of an “amazing” and “talented” transgender teenager who died of injuries sustained in a Prestwich psychiatric ward.
Charlie Millers, 17, from Stretford, died in December 2020 from injuries sustained while a psychiatric patient at Prestwich Hospital Junction 17 Ward.
A few days before his death, Charlie had been taken to the emergency room at North Manchester General Hospital to receive staples after self-harming on the ward.
After returning to Junction 17, Charlie attempted suicide and was taken to Salford Royal Hospital where he died five days later on 7 December 2020.
Earlier that month, Charlie had been taken to the emergency room after another suicide attempt and was reportedly observed 1-2-1 by hospital staff.
An inquest, opening on Monday 30 January, will now examine the conditions and care provided by the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Trafford Borough Council and five other interested persons.
He was one of three young people to die in hospital in less than a year.
Charlie was a talented performer who loved Morris dancing, football and animals.
His family describes him as “a wonderful human being” with a “smile that touched and melted a thousand hearts” who made time for others no matter how much he struggled.
Charlie had behavioral problems since elementary school and mental illness since he was 11 years old. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and autism.
At the time of his death, Charlie was receiving gender-affirming healthcare and attending a gender clinic.
He had been bullied at school because of his gender identity, which added to his poor mental health.
As he grew older, Charlie’s mental health continued to deteriorate, including severe self-harm behavior.
Charlie received support from Trafford Social Services, but due to a significant deterioration in his mental health, he was admitted to Section 17 three times in the months and weeks before his death, including after multiple incidents of self-harm.
He was fired many times, only to return to the department shortly afterwards.
Charlie was admitted to the ward for the last time from October 20, 2020 for six weeks, with an occasional day off.
Charlie’s family is deeply concerned about the care he received from Junction 17.
In the month before Charlie’s death, his mother filed two complaints with the health care regulator, the Care Quality Commission, about the department.
The inquest will be held before a jury and will take into account the care provided to Charlie in the five months leading up to his death, including discharge planning and community care and treatment.
It will also examine inpatient care at Junction 17, including the level of observations and behavior management, staffing and training, and communication between professionals.
The inquest will also look into the events of December 2, 2020, when Charlie suffered fatal injuries on the ward.