Cambridgeshire

Boiler-wait pensioner Patricia Gavaghan died of natural causes

Patricia Gavaghan Image copyright Gavaghan family
Image caption Patricia Gavaghan died after waiting 11 days for a boiler repair

A "cold" pensioner who died of a heart attack following an 11-day wait for a boiler repair died from natural causes, an inquest has concluded.

Patricia Gavaghan, 80, died at her home, which was maintained by Morgan Sindall, in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, on 22 December 2017.

At the time there was an amber weather warning due to a prolonged cold spell.

Assistant coroner Nick Moss said he could not say for certain whether the cold had caused her heart attack.

The inquest at Huntingdon Law Courts previously heard Mrs Gavaghan lived alone in Sycamore Road, in a bungalow owned by Clarion Housing and maintained by Morgan Sindall.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Mrs Gavaghan lived alone in Sycamore Road, Whittlesey

Morgan Sindall had taken on the maintenance contract in October 2017 but Mark Waterhouse, from the company, told the inquest call handlers were "unable to cope" with the high number of inquiries.

The company aimed to send an engineer within 24 hours but Mrs Gavaghan was given an appointment for 11 days' time.

On the day she died an engineer had been due to attend but "ran out of time", the court heard.

Ruling that Mrs Gavaghan died of natural causes, Mr Moss said that while "stress, cold and anger could have been a trigger" he could not say for certain they had caused her death.

During the inquest Mr Waterhouse had apologised "unreservedly" to Mrs Gavaghan's family for the company failing to provide the "proper service" she was "entitled to and fully deserved".

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