Pauline Parr choked to death at mental health hospital

Prospect Park Hospital
Image caption Prospect Park Hospital specialises in mental health illnesses

A woman choked to death on sandwiches while in the care of a mental health trust, an inquest has concluded.

Pauline Parr, 72, had been a patient at Prospect Park Hospital in Reading for four months when she collapsed and died in the dining room on 25 May 2017.

Reading Coroner's Court heard hospital staff and paramedics administered emergency treatment but were unable to clear the obstruction in her throat.

The inquest jury found Mrs Parr's death was an accident.

She was suffering from extreme anxiety and an eating disorder when she was admitted to the hospital in January 2017.

However, she was not considered by staff to be someone who posed a risk to herself or needed supervision when eating, said coroner Ian Wade QC.

Slaps to back

The court heard from her carer, Victoria Case, that Mrs Parr was an anxious patient but said there was no reason to be concerned over her eating habits.

She said on the day of her death Ms Parr had gone up to the dining room to demand food which had been pre-ordered by other patients.

Ms Case told the inquest she told her to sit down and wait while she went to order food.

Upon returning, the carer said she realised Mrs Parr was choking but said she had "no idea" where the food had come from.

She gave Ms Parr three slaps to her back to try to get the food out and then tried to get the patient to the clinic room, but she collapsed, she told the court.

A nurse and two doctors helped put Ms Parr in to the recovery position and gave her CPR, but with no success and called 999.

Paramedics attended but were unable to revive the her.

The coroner has called for a further hearing to assess the need for a report to prevent future deaths.

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