Ambulance moved when elderly Salhouse woman was being wheeled on, inquest told

An ambulance rolled five metres down a hill when an elderly woman was being wheeled on in a 'carry chair' to be taken to hospital, an inquest heard.

Maureen Wigg, 90, from Lower Street, Salhouse, suffered cuts to her leg and arm when the ambulance moved when she was on the ramp and then suffered a cardiac arrest hours later in a second ambulance on November 20 last year.

A Norwich inquest heard today that the injuries she suffered did not contribute to her death.

But Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said the incident must have been 'enormously distressing' for her.

He said: 'What happened was extremely disturbing and should never have happened. But I'm glad that proceedings have now been put in place to ensure all ambulance staff have adequate training and the possibility of this reoccurring has been minimised.'

The ambulance was run by the private company, Norvic, which was employed by the East of England NHS Ambulance Trust.

The inquest was also told that emergency ambulance technician Chrissi Head, who could not explain how Mrs Wigg suffered her injuries, had discussed with Mrs Wigg's family in her presence whether she wanted to be resuscitated if anything went wrong.

Most Read

The ambulance driven by part-time emergency medical technician Hilary Varley had also been parked in an unsafe position, after she reversed it up a hill in front of Mrs Wigg's home, which caused it to slide, the inquest heard.

Ms Varley told the inquest that she had put the handbrake on and could not explain why it slipped.

After the inquest, Mrs Wigg's son Alan Wigg said: 'We don't blame anybody but our mother had been seen by a doctor just hours before this incident occurred and he had not thought she was in a critical condition. Our mother's condition seemed to have deteriorated after what happened. Also what was said about resuscitation was not good practice and I don't think Chrissi will do it again.'

Darren Maguire, clinical general manager for the ambulance trust, said that since the incident fewer private companies were now employed by the trust.

The inquest was told that there was nothing to suggest the trauma Mrs Wigg suffered played any part in her death, as she had advanced cancer and could have stopped breathing at any time.

After the inquest, Dr Nick Morton, assistant medical director for the ambulance trust, said he was sure that everyone had worked in the best interests of the parties involved, and sent condolences to the family.

A verdict of death from natural causes was recorded by Mr Armstrong.