A WOMEN who died after being admitted to Wrexham Maelor Hospital with a bleed spent five hours in an ambulance waiting for treatment, an inquest heard.

Relatives raised the alarm when they became concerned that Esther Jane Wood was “slurring” and in a state of confusion on the evening of April 3 last year.

But the ambulance which took Miss Wood, 46, from her home at Hazel Grove in Mold to the accident and emergency department was parked up outside the hospital until 1am the next day, while three other ambulances arriving after hers were deemed to have greater clinical priority.

Ambulance lead Evan Meredith, when asked by North East Wales East and Central Assistant Coroner David Pojur if “anything different could have been done in unhelpful circumstances”, admitted the ongoing problem of queuing outside the Wrexham medical complex was a source of professional regret.

“These situations are terrible and they should not be happening. It has been four or five years and it is more than an occasional situation,” he said.

“I find it quite upsetting at a professional level. This has become the norm because of the pressures on the hospital. It is almost a daily occurrence.”

The resumed inquest in Ruthin into Miss Wood’s death heard that paramedics had responded initially to the call because she had suffered a vaginal bleed.

Paramedic Jonathan Betteley said: “Esther had been generally unwell for a number of weeks and her family were very concerned about her situation. She looked like she was very dehydrated, so I instigated fluids and gave her saline.”

When she was eventually admitted to hospital, Miss Wood’s condition deteriorated. She needed blood transfusions and was moved to the high dependency unit where she passed away on April 6.

Intensive care consultant Dr Graham Mayers said Ms Wood was suffering from liver and kidney failure.

“We did suspect it was alcohol-related in keeping with chronic liver disease,” he said.

Asked whether it would have made a difference had she been admitted earlier, Dr Mayers said: “Considering she had quite severe liver failure the chances of survival are quite markedly reduced.

“There were issues of managing her case and in the lateness of admission and they certainly wouldn’t have helped her, but the liver failure was already there.”

Cerys Goodrum told the inquest her sister was deeply affected by the 2013 death of her husband, for whom she cared for after he developed a heart condition.

“She was a very quiet lady who had a lovely relationship with my mum, but after losing her husband she was very depressed and became very withdrawn,” said her sister.

She said that she didn’t always attend medical appointments and added: “There was a point when she started drinking, although as a family we weren’t aware of it – mum kept it quiet.

And she added: “I was concerned that she was waiting. She was so poorly and I was really concerned, but they were saying because she was drunk she wasn’t a priority.”

Consultant gynaecologist Laura Roberts said while the bleeding had been significant, she thought that it wasn’t the “whole picture” as to why Miss Wood’s condition had deteriorated.

A post mortem listed the cause of Miss Wood’s death as bronchial pneumonia, heart and liver failure, alcohol/liver disease as well as a myocardial infarction and a neuro endocrine tumour.

The Ruthin inquest continues.