Hereford & Worcester

Inquest delay for Worcestershire teeth removal woman

Diana Johnston and her daughter Rachel Image copyright Diana Johnston
Image caption Diana Johnston has learned she has a longer wait for a hearing into daughter Rachel's death

An inquest into the death of a disabled woman who died after all her teeth were removed has been delayed for 10 months.

Rachel Johnston, 49, collapsed shortly after being discharged from Kidderminster Hospital in 2018.

A pre-inquest review heard proceedings needed to be put back because of a number of prison deaths that had to be investigated first.

Ms Johnston's mother Diana said the delay was "very difficult" for the family.

A full inquest had initially been scheduled to take place later this month.

Speaking at Monday's hearing at Stourport Coroner's Court, coroner David Reid said the prison inquests, which would each require a jury and take several days, meant scheduling the required five days for Ms Johnston's inquest was not possible before the middle of next year.

Setting the inquest for 22 June 2020, Mr Reid said he had sympathy for Diana Johnston and the family over the timeframe.

The prison deaths predate that of Ms Johnston.

Image copyright Diana Johnston
Image caption Rachel Johnston collapsed shortly after being discharged from hospital

Speaking after the hearing, Mrs Johnston, from Evesham in Worcestershire, said the delay was proving stressful.

"I am not made of stone, but we have just got to carry on; we need to keep going for Rachel," she said.

"It is a long time, but we just have to wait and hope we will get there."

Ms Johnston, who suffered brain damage after contracting meningitis as a baby, underwent the dental operation in October 2018. It was deemed necessary because of severe tooth decay.

She collapsed shortly after being discharged and was later rushed to hospital with breathing difficulties and bleeding. She was put on a life-support machine but died on 13 November.

Lawyers acting for Ms Johnston's family claim a series of errors led to her death.

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