The chief executives of two North Wales health bodies are being called to give evidence at an inquest at which the continuing problems over hospital admissions and discharges will come under the microscope.

At an inquest in Ruthin yesterday, John Gittins, coroner for North Wales East and Central, said that at another inquest later this month he would be questioning Gary Doherty, CEO of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, and Jason Killens, CEO of the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust.

It is understood that the hearing will be into the death of 70-year-old Peter Connelly, who died at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital in November last year.

No details of the case were revealed at yesterday’s inquest into the death of 90-year-old former radio presenter Olive Sweetman, who died at the same hospital on May 9 this year.

Mrs Sweetman, of Glyndwr Road, Gwernymynydd, near Mold, who suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Alzheimer’s Disease, was admitted to hospital on April 12 and though she improved enough to be discharged, her husband Kenneth was unable to care for her.

A delay then occurred over her discharge, and while in hospital she developed pneumonia, which resulted in her death.

Consultant physician Dr Neil McAndrew told the inquest that discharging patients into care homes was a “convoluted” process involving a great deal of assessments and paperwork, sometimes exacerbated by a shortage of staff.

“If the person in hospital becomes unwell in the meantime the process has to be gone through a second time,” he said.

“North East Wales has the least number of care homes in North Wales and that is also a big factor,” he added. “Exit from hospital is a major issue.”

Mrs Sweetman’s poor health meant that she would have been a high risk regardless of where she was, Dr McAndrew said.

Recording a conclusion of natural causes, Mr Gittins said that about three or four years ago he had spoken to all council chief executives in his area and to WAST about the problem.

He said he realised there was no “magic wand” to solve the problem, adding: “At the end of this month I shall have a further occasion to deal with this issue when I am calling the CEOs of WAST and the Health Board to give evidence.”

In the circumstances, he said, he did not feel it necessary at this stage to issue a Regulation 28 report to prevent future deaths as efforts were being made to improve the situation.

Olive Sweetman played a large part in the life of the community in Gwernymynydd, running the youth club and serving on the parish council.

Her broadcasting career began in 1980 when she was invited to work for Radio Deeside, set up by the BBC to cover the loss of 8,000 jobs at Shotton Steelworks.

She then joined the successor station Radio Clwyd, becoming a popular presenter on the morning show, acting as the voice of the local community.

John Shone, who recruited her because of her community work and lively personality, said: “With her bubbly, irrepressible, down-to-earth personality and warm sense of fun you couldn’t help like her.”