A PENSIONER who died five days after fracturing her hip on a hospital ward would probably have died within a few days, an inquest was told.

Retired headteacher Anne Synnott, who died at Glan Clwyd Hospital on June 29 last year, had incurable bowel cancer and was too ill for surgery.

Following her death her husband Kenneth and sister Sheila Rafferty raised concerns about the care she had received and questioned whether a shortage of staff and poor hygiene standards had contributed to her demise.

Miss Rafferty told the Ruthin hearing she found four stoma bags under her bed and containers of vomit had not been removed.

But at the end of the hearing David Lewis, assistant coroner for North Wales East and Central, said he was satisfied Mrs Synnott, 69, from Llanarmon-yn-Ial, near Mold, had received appropriate care at both Wrexham Maelor and Glan Clwyd Sospitals.

He recorded a narrative conclusion on Mrs Synnott, who had a “complex medical history” and said it was a natural causes death, albeit that it was brought forward a few days by the fall.

The inquest heard Mrs Synnott underwent surgery for bowel cancer in 2003 and was then admitted to the Maelor Hospital in 2015 to have her colon removed.

She and her husband were so pleased with the care she received that they donated £10,000 to a hospital charity.

In March 2017 she was again taken to the Maelor Hospital and consultant Dr Richard Cochrane said she was very ill and not strong enough to under go chemotherapy.“She was never well enough,” he said.

He said he explained the position to her and she accepted the news “with great stoicism”.

Mrs Synnott was discharged to Ruthin Hospital for rehabilitation but then returned to Wrexham.

She then returned home but her GP then arranged for her to go to Glan Clwyd on June 21.

Two days later she suffered the fall while nurse Victoria Stafford had left her for a very short time before helping her to the toilet.

Miss Rafferty said on one occasion she tried to find a nurse to attach a saline drip but could not find one.

Jan Gardner, head of nursing (surgery) at Glan Clwyd, told the inquest she was concerned to learn of the family’s concerns and said hygiene was a priority issue.

A new ward creditation programme was about to be introduced by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board which would flag up areas of concern.

After hearing of the steps being taken and the systems in place to maintain staffing levels, Mr Lewis said he saw no point in issuing a Regulation 28 report to prevent future deaths.

It was clear, he said, that every possible step had been taken to tend to Mrs Synnott’s various medical problems.

After the hearing Miss Rafferty said they were satisfied that their questions had been answered and she acknowledged that hospital staff were working under great pressure.