Family hails inquest verdict as coroner rules neglect played role in woman’s choking death in care home.
The heartbroken family of a grandmother who choked to death at a care home today said “justice had been done” after a coroner ruled the home’s neglect had contributed to her death.
Dorothy Clarkson, known affectionately by her middle name Mavis, was unable to cut up her own food properly after suffering a brain injury affecting her left side and vision.
The 78-year-old, a retired machinist who grew up in Frenchwood, Preston, and attended St Walburge’s school, choked on a large piece of lamb as she dined at Longton Nursing Home in Marsh Lane, Longton on July 25, 2013,
Coroner Simon Jones, at Preston Coroner’s Court, ruled her death was accidental, but neglect was a contributory factor, and indicated his intention to write a report about the home’s procedures.
He said: “It’s clear what should have happened did not happen, and no one assisted Mrs Clarkson to cut up her food.
“I’m satisfied the risks posed by the lack of a structured meal plan amount to a gross failure.”
Mavis’s husband of 58 years, Trevor, their children David, Susan and Amanda and granddaughter Abbie said: “The saddest thing is she was coming home to us – she was in the home while we made necessary preparations and did work to bring her home.
Susan added: “For the last 15 months we have worked to get this verdict. Justice has been done, not just for her, but for other people in nursing homes. “The week before she died we had taken her for a drink at the Golden Ball pub with her grandchildren. It’s a lovely precious memory.”
Adventurous Mavis, who enjoyed going on safaris and cruises, was described as “a brilliant mum.”