Great-grandmother died after falling over on the way to get Covid jab

Great-grandmother, 84, died after falling over rubber mat on her way into vaccination clinic for first dose of her Covid jab, inquest hears

  • Margaret Reilly, 84, fell over a rubber mat in hospital designed to prevent slips
  • The pensioner was on her way to get a Covid-19 jab in Shrewsbury in December
  • Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust’s boss has ‘apologised unreservedly’

A great-grandmother died after falling over a rubber mat on her way into a vaccination clinic to get her first dose of the Covid-19 jab

Margaret Ann Reilly arrived at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital with her husband to receive their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

As her husband had his temperature checked, Mrs Reilly tripped and fell on a mat that had been left out to prevent patients slipping during recent snowy weather.

Several days after the heavy fall, the pensioner died from her injuries.

Margaret Ann Reilly was visiting Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in December to receive her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. However, the great-grandmother suffered fatal injuries after she tripped and fell on a mat left out to be prevent patients slipping over

The hospital trust’s chief executive said the mats had been removed from the area to prevent further accidents, adding that he ‘apologised unreservedly’ to the pensioner’s family. 

An inquest last Thursday heard Mrs Reilly entered the building – which had been rearranged to accommodate coronavirus measure, including a one-way system – through the back entrance, an inquest at Shirehall in Shrewsbury heard last Thursday.

The retired VAT inspector 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.

Arne Rose, medical director at the hospital’s trust confirmed the mats had since been removed and said he ‘apologised unreservedly’ to Mrs Reilly’s family

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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