St Annes Mother and son died within just a month of each other

An anguished family member described how her brother and her mother died within just a month of each other as they struggled with serious mental health issues

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 5:31 pm

Holly Ireland said she had tried to ensure brother Marshall Metcalfe, 17, and mother Jane Ireland, 44, got the help they needed as their conditions deteriorated.

But Marshall died from massive internal injuries at Royal Preston Hospital on May 7 2020 after falling from the Sainsburys car park in Blackpool.

Tragically, Ms Ireland died at her home on Heeley Road, St Annes, on June 7, 2020, after taking a quantity of methadone which contributed to her death.

Happier times - Jane Ireland with her children, including son Marshall Metcalfe

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An inquest into the deaths of the pair, who had both been under the care of Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust mental health services in Blackpool, opened on Monday.

The inquiry, scheduled until Friday, aims to establish if any opportunities were missed in the professional care given to the pair, who at various points were under social services, care coordinators, and the mental health services.

The inquest heard that the mental health of talented make-up artist Jane Ireland gradually deteriorated after suffering the effects of a violent attack from an ex-partner in 2010.

Asked by Claire Watson, counsel for the inquest, how this affected her, Holly said: “It had a massive effect, she couldn’t get her head around why he did it to her. It caused my mum to distance herself from friends.”

Her condition deteriorated further and she was eventually tormented by voices.

Marshall, meanwhile, also began to suffer severe mental health issues and eventually had two spells in the Cove unit in Heysham.

But Holly Ireland says it did not help her brother and she also struggled to convince mental health services how ill her mother really was.

The inquest continues today.