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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Maidstone care home patient Gordon Sellen choked to death on beef 'the size of a man's palm' at Pilgrims Way Nursing Home, inquest told

21 June 2014
by James Walker

Retired factory worker Gordon Sellen, 84, died while carer Chende Tudor fed him lunch in his room at Pilgrims Way Nursing Home.

A coroner heard Mr Tudor, who had been employed at the home for three months, had not been properly told how to feed patients or what to do if someone started choking.

Pilgrims Way Nursing Home, in Bower Mount Road, Maidstone

Pilgrims Way Nursing Home, in Bower Mount Road, Maidstone

He had spent a month under supervision and had no previous experience working in a care home, but insisted he had cut Mr Sellen's food to manageable sizes.

After questioning by coroner Patricia Harding, Mr Tudor accepted the portion he served was too big.

A post-mortem by pathologist Dr David Rouse also found an intact carrot with no indication it had been chewed by the patient.

"The improvements made are not going to bring my dad back. But the main thing is people are properly trained so this doesn't happen to anyone else..." - Gordon Sellen's daughter Jennifer Eldridge

Workers at the Bower Mount Road care home battled in vain to save Mr Sellen's life.

Paramedics had to use forceps to prize the meat from his neck after finding him unconscious and in cardiac arrest in April 2012.

Care home manager Roxana Rosca told the coroner at the Archbishop's Palace that changes have been made after Mr Sellen's death.

She also said Mr Sellen had previously been offered pureed food, but declined because he did not like eating "baby food".

The coroner concluded Mr Sellen's death was an accident, with the cause recorded as food inhalation and Parkinson's disease.

Mrs Harding also ruled no further action should be taken against the nursing home.

Mr Sellen's daughter Jennifer Eldridge said: "The improvements made are not going to bring my dad back. But the main thing is people are properly trained so this doesn't happen to anyone else."

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