Disabled woman died ‘a day after refusing help’

Blackpool Town Hall
Blackpool Town Hall
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A disabled woman died one day after she was allowed to stay at home instead of being taken to hospital.

Jackie Maguire, 52, who had Down’s Syndrome, fell ill at the United Response residential home on St Annes Road East, St Annes, where she lived, on February 21 last year.

An ambulance was called but an inquest into her death was told Miss Maguire indicated that she did not want to go to hospital and she remained at the home.

On the morning of February 22 she was taken by ambulance to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where she died later that day. A postmortem by Dr Sameer Shaktawat revealed the cause of death was a gastric ulcer that had pierced the stomach wall and peritonitis, an infection of the stomach lining.

The inquest, being held at Blackpool Town Hall, will see the verdict returned by a jury.

At yesterday’s hearing, Miss Maguire’s mother, Muriel Maguire, said: “At about 2.30pm (on February 21) I received a call from staff who informed me that Jackie wasn’t well, that she had vomiting and diarrhoea and had collapsed and had a seizure.”

She added that she was told a GP had been called, but later learned that no doctor had attended her daughter at that time.

She said: “I phoned again at 8.30pm. I was informed the paramedics were there and that Jackie’s condition had worsened.

“I said Jackie would refuse to go to hospital, but I said Jackie did not have the mental capacity to make the decision for herself.”

She said she asked to speak with the paramedics but was told this was not possible.

The following morning she was called to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where, she said, she was told by a doctor her daughter was suffering from sepsis.

She said: “Later in the afternoon, Jackie was laying on her side holding onto the barriers of her bed. She had a lot of trouble breathing. She was really gasping for breath. Her eyes were half closed and she seemed to be in a lot of pain.”

The inquest is expected to last around two weeks.