Sophia Yuferev: Family mulls legal action to stop 'other mothers crying for their daughters'

Sophia Yuferev

Sophia Yuferev died last year - Credit: Maria Stockdale

The family of a woman who may have died from starvation are considering legal action over mistakes made by a mental health NHS trust. 

“We want to prevent other families going through this,” said Yulia Tlili, whose sister Sophia Yuferev was found dead in Hornchurch last November.

If changes are not made, Yulia said, there could be "other mothers crying for their daughters".

“I would like to do as much as possible to really push forward."

North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) offered “sincere condolences” to Sophia’s loved ones and said it is reviewing the care delivered with a view to "implementing learning".

Sophia, 37, suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and should have had regular contact from a NELFT care coordinator.

But severe staff shortages in late 2021 meant she was left with no coordinator for months.

Meanwhile, an inquest on July 20 heard that an error meant she was left off the register for her fortnightly anti-psychotic injection, so nobody noticed when she didn’t show up to get it.

This all meant weeks elapsed before NELFT realised Sophia was missing and called the police.

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Sophia’s illness meant she often suffered from delusions that her family was conspiring against her, leading her to shut them out.

They relied on NELFT to keep her safe.

The inquest heard Sophia's mother had frequently contacted NEFLT  with concerns over Sophia’s wellbeing.

But despite Sophia believing herself possessed by a demon, NELFT classified her as having capacity to make important decisions and obeyed her requests not to share information with her family.

An investigation after Sophia’s death was also hampered by mistakes, her inquest heard.

Her death was initially blamed on diabetes – but after the Recorder investigated concerns raised by her family, that turned out to be based on misinterpreted blood results.

Sophia’s sister Maria Mashiah expressed anger that it was left to relatives to unpick medical errors.

“We’re not professionals,” she said. “We’re looking these things up on Google.”

Yulia said the family would seek legal advice over what steps can be taken next.

NELFT said it is working with Sophia's family to "provide ongoing support".

"As per our trust’s serious incident process, we have undertaken a review of the care delivered and are implementing learning as a result of this review."