Wiltshire Police change call policy after woman's death

The death of an 82-year-old woman has led Wiltshire Police to set up a call handling policy.

The police watchdog found the force's response to a call for concern about Iris Hacker before her death was below an acceptable standard.

The police were called by a friend of Mrs Hacker at 2220 GMT on 28 January last year.

Officers attended her home at 0715 the next day and found her seriously ill. She died on 31 January.

'Very distressing'

Mrs Hacker was taken to the Great Western Hospital, Swindon, where she died.

IPCC Commissioner Rebecca Marsh said: "While the medical evidence shows that Mrs Hacker would probably still not have survived if she had been discovered sooner, being alone after suffering a stroke must have been very distressing for her."

She said: "The quality of service provided to her during this incident by the Wiltshire Police control room fell below an acceptable standard and this was not helped by the absence of a force call handling policy.

"I want to offer the public some reassurance that the recommendations the IPCC has made were accepted by Wiltshire Police on 20 October, which should help with any future cases where police resources are stretched and they have to prioritise calls.

"I have arranged to share the key findings of our investigation with Age UK so that they can also offer reassurance to the elderly population of Wiltshire that they should have confidence in using the 999 system if they require urgent assistance."

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