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Retired nurse in '10-hour A&E wait on trolley' at Walsall Manor Hospital

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A retired nurse who suffered a 10-hour wait on a trolley bed at Walsall Manor following a fall at her home died as a result of an accident, an inquest heard.

Margaret Waters was admitted to the hospital on December 8 after falling in her kitchen.

It had been five hours before she could alert a neighbour using her pendant alarm.

The 72-year-old arrived at midnight and was seen within five minutes by a doctor who referred her, at 1.10am, to a ward but because of the pressure on beds, was not taken to a ward until after 10am.

A&E matron Denise Fraser said: "Due to the pressure on beds over the whole of our winter, we were not immediately able to get her on to a medical ward but she had repeated observation tests."

She added Mrs Waters had been in A&E 'far longer than ideal' but within the 12-hour maximum target.

Dr Vishawanthan Senthil, a specialist in the care of the elderly, said the focus on the ward had been to stabilise Mrs Waters and rehabilitate her back to her previous level of functioning but on December 16, her temperature rose, a sign an infection had developed, and her condition got worse.

Mr Waters died in the early hours of December 21.

The medical cause of death was a chest infection caused by impaired mobility as a result of the fall, with underlying heart disease as a contributory factor.

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Mrs Waters cousin, company director Gareth Littler, of Wrexham, described her as a 'fiercely independent woman' who ended her career in charge of a nursing home.

"We initially had concerns about the care she received but have now been reassured on those points."

Black Country coroner Zafar Siddique said: "It is accepted that it is not ideal for people to have to wait up to 12 hours for a bed but in that time she was given fluids and monitored regularly."

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