Grandmother died after wheelchair 'capsized' into pothole outside A&E

Grandmother-of-six, 88, died after her wheelchair ‘capsized’ into a six-year-old pothole outside an A&E while being pushed by a carer to her taxi following treatment for a broken wrist

  • Audrey Worrall, 88, suffered head injuries in grounds of hospital in Gloucester
  • Former pub landlady died four days later and family claim death was avoidable
  • Her son carried out research which found pothole had been there since 2012
  • Coroner rules death as accidental at inquest at Gloucestershire Coroner’s Court

A grandmother-of-six died when her wheelchair ‘capsized’ into a pothole which had been there for six years outside a hospital A&E department, an inquest has heard.

Audrey Worrall, 88, fell and suffered head injuries in the grounds of Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in December 2018 before dying four days later.

Her family claim her death was avoidable, with her son Gary having carried out research which found the hazard has been outside the hospital as far back as 2012.

Mr Worrall said: ‘All the evidence is here that this could have been prevented.’

Audrey Worrall, 88, fell and suffered head injuries in the grounds of a hospital in Gloucester

Coroner Roland Wooderson ruled the death as accidental at an inquest at Gloucestershire Coroner’s Court yesterday.

The hearing was told Mrs Worrall, who was living in a care home, was being pushed by a carer to a taxi after treatment for a broken wrist at the hospital in Gloucester.

It was then that the accident took place, with the wheelchair twisting and falling as it hit a tree pit.

Carer Lorraine Ferron told the inquest that the chair ‘capsized on the right-hand side’.

Audrey Worrell, who was a pub landlady from Gloucester, is pictured with her husband Arthur

Safety officer Andrew Seaton said Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had accepted the failure to make the tree pit safe before it happened.

He added that the trust could not explain why no action was taken in the six years prior to the incident.

Mrs Worrall, a great-grandmother-of-five and a mother-of-three, was a well-loved pub landlady in the Gloucester area.

Her son described her family as ‘absolutely distraught’ when speaking at the time of her death.

The wheelchair tumbled over throwing Mrs Worrell clear after it hit this un-level surface

Mr Worrall said: ‘Her carer, who we don’t blame for this, screamed for assistance and a taxi driver came to their aid. She was in so much pain.

‘She was just conscious when I went to see her the following morning and the last thing she said was she couldn’t breathe, her tongue was swollen up. She… just drifted off.’

Her family said previously that Mrs Worrall, who ran many establishments during her long career in the pub trade, was due to be in the residential home for eight weeks.

This was so her needs could be reassessed following several health problems and it was hoped she could return home to her husband. 

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