The family of a woman who took her own life “only hours” after contacting the mental health crisis team for help have said that she was “not given the care that she deserved” by the NHS Trust.

Linda Banks, of Chilton, is understood to have completed suicide on April 10, 2022, after taking an overdose of medication.

She is one of 41 people revealed to have died within six months of receiving care from Durham and Darlington Crisis Team (DDCT) since February 2021.

These 41 deaths did not occur naturally – meaning patients died from unexpected physical health issues, drug and alcohol-related deaths, and unknown causes, as well as completing suicide.  

Read our report into these deaths here. 

Ahead of an inquest into her death, Linda’s family have said that she was “failed” by the crisis team and called for an inquiry into the Trust.

The Banks’ family’s legal representative has said that Tees, Esk and Wear Valley Trust (TEWV) had been aware of issues with the DDCT since 2021, after they commissioned a review following four DDCT patient deaths within a five-week period.

This report noted troubling themes in the care provided to some patients, including issues with referral, triage, and escalation processes; problems with staffing levels and team culture; and a failure by staff to adhere to clinical policy/procedures.

Jonathan Banks, 46, Linda’s younger brother, said that TEWV “hadn’t listened to their own recommendations” following the 2021 review.

“The number of deaths since shows that they’re just not listening. Linda wasn’t listened to by the crisis team. Our concerns were always dismissed – and now I wish that we had done more for Linda.”

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Linda had a history of depression and anxiety, and had been in regular contact with Tees, Esk, and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV), as her mental health had deteriorated after her mother’s recent death.

Due to out-of-character behaviour, Linda’s family grew concerned about her risk of suicide and self-harm, and reached out to the DDCT for help on her behalf.

Despite this, according to the family, DDCT consistently “downplayed” Linda’s risk to herself, and resultantly “she did not receive the care or treatment that she needed”.

Jonathan said: “As a family, we’ve been made to feel like we failed her because the crisis team told us her behaviour was only attention seeking. Linda’s treatment by the crisis team was so grim I can’t put it into words.”

TEWV completed a Care Review Report into Linda’s death on January 26, 2023.

The review identified a number of aspects of the care and treatment provided by the Crisis Team that did not meet the expectations of the Trust, including an overall lack of awareness of triage and other team process meaning that Linda did not receive the right care at the right time and her needs were not fully met.

There was also a failure to provide intensive home treatment and, critically, a failure to identify that Linda was experiencing symptoms consistent with psychosis and to seek input from specialist psychosis services.

Read more: Family claim West Park hospital, Darlington, was 'compassionless'

Linda’s friends and family were also advised to consider “stepping back” from her, and to stop giving her attention, at a time at which she was highly vulnerable, and her mental health was “clearly deteriorating”, according to the family’s lawyers.

A spokesperson for Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust said: “It is incredibly sad when a person that has been in contact with any of our services dies and our hearts go out to families who have lost loved ones.

“We would always carry out a review of our care so that we can understand if there are areas where we can improve.
 “We are committed to providing safe, high-quality services for people across the communities that we support.
“As you would expect we are unable to comment on the details of individuals in our care.”

  • Samaritans are available, day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at, or visit to find your nearest branch.
  • If U Care Share on 0191 387 5661 or text IUCS to 85258.
  • SANE on 07984 967 708, Calm on 0800 58 58 58.
  • Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust crisis line 0800 0516 171.