Woman, 100, died after fall from hoist at carehome

A 100-YEAR-OLD woman who died after falling from a hoist at a nursing home may not have been secured correctly or moved by properly trained carers, an inquest heard.

The family of May Ward, who lived at Meppershall Nursing Home, have been waiting for more than two years to find out the circumstances surrounding her death.

The centenarian was being moved to her bed by two carers with a hoist and sling in August 2010, when she fell on the floor, Hatfield Coroner’s Court was told.

She died a day later – August 28 – in Lister Hospital, after sustaining a fractured skull and leg, as well as other injuries.

Lanre Okumribid, a health and safety expert who gave evidence, said if the sling Mrs Ward was wearing was properly secured, a person wouldn’t have been able to totally fall out.

And Ruth Boulton, a health and safety inspector, claimed she could find no evidence staff had been provided training on using the sling – which was new – in question.

When questioned by coroner Edward Thomas, she also said instructions for the new sling weren’t easily accessible and if a patient was agitated – as it was claimed Mrs Ward was – no attempt should be made to move them.

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Summarising the points, Mr Thomas said: “If used properly (the sling), she shouldn’t have fallen.”

He added: “If used correctly, it should have prevented the injury.”

Carers Shasha Wei and Rumyana Ivanova – who used the hoist – were not at the inquest to give evidence, as both have moved to their respective homes in China and Bulgaria.

But a statement read out in court from a paramedic who was called to the scene said the pair had moved Mrs Ward to the bed, after she fell on the floor.

The nurse on duty at the time told the inquest this should not have happened, adding the patient should have been made comfortable and left until paramedics arrived.

The paramedic whose statement was read out was called to the scene at 6.50pm – 40 minutes after the incident is claimed to have happened – although someone from the fast response team was already there, the inquest was told.

A post=mortem found the cause of death was multiple skull fractures and intracerebral haematoma, and ischaemic heart disease.

The inquest continues.

• For the outcome of the inquest and a tribute from Mrs Ward’s family, see Thursday’s Comet newspaper.

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