An inquiry has been heard that a pensioner died after dropping out of the back of a paramedic and hitting her head.
Anita Woodford, 66, was rolled down the back of the ERS Medical vehicle’s bank when her wheelchair tumbled over on November 15, 2021.
The retiree, from Brisley, Norfolk, died two weeks later after helping a head and neck injury.
The incorrect wheelchair had been used when she came to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital for a non-urgent dialysis appointment, an inquiry at Norfolk Coroner’s Court heard this week.
In CCTV footage at the inquest, Woodford was being wheeled down the bank when the chair hit the bottom and suddenly jolted backwards.
The ‘hospital porter’ wheelchair was worked by ambulance care assistant Tracey Leigh, who was slung and fired.
Visibly upset while giving proof via a video link, Leigh said: “I was going down the grade and, I don’t know what occurred, but when I got to the foot, the wheelchair crown backwards.
“All I know is its crown; I could not hold it.
“I’ve done that job many times before, and nothing like that had ever happened.”
Inquest reveals cause of pensioner’s death after ambulance fall
She admitted that due to the mass and proportion of the wheelchair, she would not have been intelligent to stop it from finishing backwards.
The court heard Leigh had collected training on the best exercise for loading and unloading patients.
ERS Medical, the firm that provided the resigned transport service, had apprised staff of the risk of using bearer wheelchairs rather than the one provided on its vehicles.
Leigh declared that ERS Medical control had been aware of its staff using bearer wheelchairs for empty patients from ambulances at the hospital. She was fired following an internal investigation.
An inquiry has been heard that a woman died after dropping out of the back of an ambulance. Anita Woodford, 66, was being bowled down the back of the ambulance bank on a wheelchair whilst the automobile was stationary when the chair toppled over.
This week’s inquest caught that the wrong wheelchair was used when she appeared at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital for a non-urgent pheresis appointment on November 15, 2021. She hit her head after the wheelchair was tipped over and died two weeks later.
In CCTV footage at the inquest, the woman from Brisley, Norfolk, was pushed in the chair down the ramp when it hit the foot and promptly went rearward. The ‘hospital carrier’ wheelchair was wheeled by ambulance care deputy Tracey Leigh, who was suspended and fired.
Ambulance safety protocols questioned after pensioner’s death
Ms Leigh was outwardly upset whilst giving evidence. Speaking via video link, Ms Leigh said: “I was moved down the ramp and, I don’t know what occurred, but when I got to the bottom, the wheelchair crown backwards.
“All I know is that it caps, and I could not hold it. I’ve done that job many times before, and nothing like that happened.”
She, however, confesses that due to the load and size of the bearer wheelchair, she would not have been intelligent to stop it from tipping backwards. The court heard how Ms Leigh had collected training on best practices for cramming and unloading patients.
ERS Medical, which, as long as the patient transport service, had warned staff of the risk of using porter wheelchairs rather than those long on its vehicles. Ms Leigh added, “I never thought this would happen in a million years.
She also asserted that ERS Medical management had been aware of its staff using bearer wheelchairs to unpack patients from ambulances at the hospital. She was shot following an internal investigation.
Mrs Woodford’s husband of 45 years, Graham Woodford, address the three-day inquiry. He said the couple had proceeded the world together and that she was a faithful dog owner.
He attached that over the years, she had ached from depression following bereavement, this being a key trigger of her mental ill health. As a result, she gradually turned to alcohol but “did not receive she had a problem”.
Family pays tribute to pensioner who died after falling from ambulance
In 2019, she emeritus from working at Elmham Surgery, near Dereham, where she had been working for 25 years. Following a befall to her GP in Aug 2021, she was confessed to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital with some health problems connected to alcoholism, including severe liver disease.
She poured home on November 12 that year. On the morning of November 15, she had been calmed by Ms Leigh and a colleague for a hospital appointment.
Following the incident, Mrs Woodford assisted with a head and neck bruise and was given a CT head scan before leaving and kept in hospital overnight. Eight days untimely, on November 7, she underwent the same test, showing minor bleeding in the brain.
Following the gash to her head, CT results showed a slight bleed. Her condition declined, and she died at home on November 29.