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Pensioner died after tripping on mat on way to Covid jab

An 84-year-old woman died after tripping over a mat on her way into a clinic to get her Covid jab, an inquest heard.


Margaret Ann Reilly was attending the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital Hub in December last year for her first dose of the coronavirus vaccine when she fell over a rubber mat designed to prevent slips.

Mrs Reilly died in hospital days later on December 31.

At an inquest at Shirehall in Shrewsbury on Thursday, the court heard how she had entered the building - which had been rearranged to accommodate coronavirus measure, including a one-way system - through the back entrance.

The retired VAT inspector, of Sutton Road, Shrewsbury, was preparing to have the first dose of the Covid vaccine.

It had been snowing on the day and rubber mats had been placed by the entrances to prevent slips and damage to the carpet.

A report read out by Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin senior coroner John Ellery said Mrs Reilly's husband had been having his temperature taken when the incident happened.

Mr Ellery added that various safety measures introduced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, including using the rear door to enter the building as part of a one-way system, are thought to have impacted upon the risk of hazards occurring.


An internal investigation by the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) triggered "due to a trip caused by a mat" resulted in several recommendations, including ensuring one method of reducing a hazard does not increase the risk of another.

The mats have since been removed.

The report added that there had been no previous trips in the weeks before the incident while the mats were used by residents of a similar age and mobility.

The inquest heard how Mrs Reilly "had several falls in the months prior to this fatal one".

Arne Rose, medical director at SaTH, said: “We wish to offer our sincerest condolences to Mrs Reilly’s family for their loss.

"Our heartfelt sympathies are with them. On behalf of the trust and the Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin vaccination service I apologise unreservedly to the Reilly family for this very tragic accident.

“Following the incident we examined the cause of the accident and a full risk assessment was completed by health and safety and the falls prevention team.

"As a result the mats were removed from this area to prevent any further trips or falls.

"We also have some clear recommendations, including updated risk assessments with specialist input from falls specialists when changing the primary use of a building, to ensure something like this does not happen again.”

Mr Ellery recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

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