Reading hospital criticised over cake choking death

Anne Roberts Image copyright Handout
Image caption Anne Roberts was eating a piece of chocolate when she choked at Prospect Park Hospital in Reading

A hospital patient choked to death on a piece of chocolate cake while being supervised by two healthcare assistants, an inquest has heard.

Anne Roberts, who was 68, was given the cake despite being placed on a soft food diet after being deemed to be at "high risk" of choking, Reading Coroner's Court was told.

An inquest jury found inadequate care at Reading's Prospect Park Hospital contributed to Miss Roberts' death.

A narrative conclusion was recorded.

Miss Roberts, from Whitley, was staying at the hospital after suffering with mental health problems.

Doctors had placed her on a soft food diet following previous choking incidents.

The jury concluded this information was "inadequately communicated and recorded by staff", resulting in them giving the retired cleaner an "unsuitable" meal as she lay in bed.

She died on 28 September 2017.

Coroner Ravi Sidhu said he would be writing to Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which specialises in mental healthcare, to highlight the jury's conclusions.

Image caption Christie Dyball said she hoped lessons could be learned from her mother's death

Miss Roberts' death was one of three choking-related deaths at Prospect Park Hospital in one year.

In a statement released after the inquest, the trust said "changes had been made" ahead of the hearing following criticism from the Care Quality Commission.

Christie Dyball, Miss Roberts' daughter, said the trust should "really try and implement the changes so another family doesn't have to go through what we have".

"It's a lack of common sense," she said. "If you're not sure of what food somebody should eat, who has previously choked not just on one occasion... then just do not give it to them."

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