Inquest told of family worries about ambulance response time
The family of a woman from the Shropshire/Welsh border who died last year, fear an ambulance delay may have played a part in her death.
Elaine Hidden, 51, died at her home in Llwynmawr, Llangollen, in February last year.
A full inquest was due to be held in Ruthin on Friday but Joanne Lees, assistant coroner for North Wales East and Central, said it would have to be adjourned because a report into the investigation by the Welsh Ambulance Services Trust had not yet been received.
She also said that the Hidden family had only recently engaged a barrister, Victoria Roberts.
Mrs Lees said a post-mortem examination had revealed that Mrs Hidden, who had a history of breathing problems, had died of aspiration pneumonia and chronic asthma.
The coroner said she was aware of the family’s concerns about the ambulance response to 999 calls and whether the calls had been coded correctly.
She said details of the calls and of Welsh Ambulance Services Trust investigation will be revealed at the full hearing.
Miss Roberts asked for details of other possible delays in the area but Mrs Lees replied: “I understand why you want it but it is difficult for me to order that. I am not convinced at this stage about the relevance of other possible ambulance delays in the area to the death of Mrs Hidden.”
Miss Roberts also told the hearing that the family had concerns about the post mortem report as it made no mention of possible food poisoning even though Mrs Hidden had been ill on the morning of her death, having had a takeaway curry the previous evening.
Mrs Lees said she would seek further details from the pathologist.
Another pre-hearing will be held in about a month’s time and the full inquest is expected to be held later this year.
Report by Gareth Huhges