Care home death inquest

Howson Care Centre, Willingham by Stow G120814-2a
Howson Care Centre, Willingham by Stow G120814-2a

A CORONER recorded an open verdict after a resident died while eating his breakfast at a Lincolnshire care home.

Malcolm Willett, 67, was found slumped forward in a chair by staff at the Howson Care Centre in Willingham-by-Stow on 1st December last year.

An inquest at Lincoln Cathedral Centre this week heard Mr Willett died despite efforts by paramedics to remove a blockage in his throat.

The inquest was told Mr Willett had been in the home for five years and had a history of suffering seizures but was able to feed himself.

Mr Willett had been served a bowl of cornflakes in the breakfast room and then asked care assistant Matthew Thomas for two rounds of toast.

In a statement, registered nurse Jenny Garbett, who worked at the home, said she found Mr Willett slumped forward in his chair at about 8.30am.

Paramedics and a Lives responder were called to the home after Mrs Garbett dialled 999 but despite efforts to save him, Mr Willett was declared dead at 9.23am.

A police officer who attended the scene said in his statement that Mr Willett had apparently choked on his toast.

A post mortem carried out by a Home Office pathologist later found Mr Willett could have suffered have an epileptic seizure but it was not certain.

Recording an open verdict West Lincolnshire Coroner Stuart Fisher said he could not be sure if Mr Willett suffered an epileptic seizure or had choked while eating his breakfast.

Mr Fisher said: “Mr Willett had breakfast. Initially supervised by care assistant Matthew Thomas. He had cereal followed by toast. Mr Thomas was not present when Mr Willett ate his toast.”

The coroner added: “Having carefully considered this matter I have no criticisms at all of the Howson Care Centre who handled the situation very well indeed.”