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Pensioner died after falling over in garden

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 17, 2014

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A pensioner who fell in her back garden died of pneumonia after waiting in the pouring rain for an ambulance to arrive for more than an hour, an inquest heard.

Rachel Wilson, 84, broke her right hip after taking a tumble while bringing in some clothes from her washing line during a downpour.

Her daughter Margaret alerted her on-call nurse and then dialled 999 – but her mother was left out in the rain for more than an hour. When she was rescued she was taken to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, but died two days later of pneumonia and her broken hip. Ambulance chiefs told the inquest that demand was high that day and Mrs Wilson was categorised as less urgent than some other cases.

The Royal Navy seaman's widow, who lived in Plymouth, died on Wednesday, October 9, after an operation and time spent in intensive care. A post mortem examination recorded the cause of death as pneumonia and the broken hip.

Daniel Thorogood of South West Ambulance Service told the court through a submitted statement that the ambulance crew that attended Mrs Wilson had been called to a suspected asthma attack, an 11-year-old having a fit and a man with a cardiac history, aged 86.

Coroner Ian Arrow recorded an accidental death.

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