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Home   Medway   News   Article

Medway mhs homes resident Hilda Millar lay dying for up to five days at Wainscott home, Maidstone inquest told

20 February 2014
by Lizzie Massey
A coroner has ruled that the death of an elderly lady who lay helpless on her kitchen floor for five days was misadventure.
 
Hilda Millar was 90 when she was discovered by her son at her bungalow in warden-patrolled Greenfields Close, Wainscott, owned by mhs homes, on January 3, 2011.
 
At the second day of the inquest into her death at Archbishops’ Palace, Maidstone, a statement from pathologist Dr David Rouse explained that had 90-year-old Mrs Millar been found earlier, she may have survived.
 
Greenfields Close in Wainscott

Greenfields Close in Wainscott

 
It is believed Mrs Millar fell on December 29 and support officers were due to check on her on December 31, but did not.
 
However evidence from Dr Alaisdair Stewart indicated that even if she had been found, after 48 hours on the floor her chances of survival were low.
 
He said her body temperature was just 20c and her blood pressure undetectable when she was brought into Medway Maritime on January 3.
 
He added: “She had areas of redness and sores compatible with a prolonged period on the floor.
 
“It was unlikely any attempts at resuscitation would have produced a positive outcome and it would more likely have caused her further suffering.
 
“Twenty-four hours [on the floor] would have seriously affected her ability to survive, but it would not have been un-survivable.
 

Related story

Woman, 90, suffers agonising death after sheltered housing care staff fail to check on her


 

“After 48 hours there is a chance she might have survived. But it gets less likely with every hour.”
 
Mrs Millar had a heart condition managed by daily pills, which she was unable to take as she lay immobilised after her fall.
 
She had no record of being admitted to hospital for her condition and was described in court as independent.
 
Dr Rouse found the medical cause of her death to be congestive cardiac failure as a result of ischemic heart disease, and hypothermia.
 
Hilda Millar's son Philip outside the inquest court

Hilda Millar's son Philip outside the inquest court

 
When giving her verdict of misadventure assistant coroner Gail Elliman said: “It is understandable there have been concerns raised in regard to the checks made and whether proper procedures and protocols were kept to.
 
“However the evidence does not show that these issues caused or contributed to the death of Mrs Millar, albeit that they made it more unpleasant.”
 
Mrs Millar’s son Philip Millar went to police in January 2011 because he had concerns there had been some negligence from mhs homes and staff in regard to checking on his mother.
 
Speaking during the inquest DC Forman explained that an investigation was carried out but, after the details were handed over to the CPS, it was decided there was insufficient evidence to bring a manslaughter by gross negligence case to court.

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