A VULNERABLE dementia sufferer died in hospital after being found collapsed and bleeding at a Wigan care home, an inquest heard.
In the opening session of a three-day inquest, Bolton Coroners Court heard how Jean Aspey of specialised dementia home, Dean Wood Manor in Orrell, was discovered on the floor in her wheelchair by staff after being left for “a matter of minutes”.
The 72-year-old was taken to Wigan Infirmary by paramedics and was conscious but passed away several days later on June 6 last year.
Staff told the court it was unlikely she would have fallen by herself.
Assistant coroner, Kevin McLoughlin, heard how the pensioner was left in a lounge while a carer cleared away her dinner plates.
Mrs Aspey had been strapped to her specially assigned chair by care worker Michelle Gee to help her sit up straight prior to her being escorted back to her bedroom as she tended to lean to one side as a result of her illness.
The court was told that there were two other residents, who were only identified as Mr A and Mr B throughout the hearing, in the lounge with Mrs Aspey at the time of the incident.
Carer and laundry assistant Anne Fairhurst told the court that although Mr A was sometimes known to be aggressive she left him for a few minutes in the room while fetching his tea as he had been lethargic that day.
She said: “He was in a sluggish mood, he had been all day, so I just nipped for his tea for a couple of minutes.
“I left him alone, I shouldn’t have done. But he appeared to be in a sluggish, lazy, lethargic mood and to have no ability to do anything. So I went with my instinct.”
Under the home’s guideline, Mr A should have been under observation by staff at all times, while Mr B should have been seen every 30 minutes.
Miss Gee, who was caring for Mrs Aspey at the time of the incident, told the court that she usually had her tea in the lounge, preferring the quiet area to the dining room.
She fed Mrs Aspey then strapped her into the wheelchair before heading back to the kitchen with the dishes.
Upon her return she heard an alarm buzzer sound and went back to the lounge to find other members of staff crowded around Mrs Aspey on the floor.
She told the hearing Mrs Aspey had blood on her head and was shaking.