AN 84-year-old woman died after she was left lying in the rain for more than an hour as she waited for an ambulance, an inquest heard.
Rachel Wilson went out to her back garden to take-in some clothes from the washing line when she fell and fractured her right hip.
In a statement read out at HM Coroner’s Office, her daughter Margaret Wilson described how she waited next to her mother for an hour for paramedics to arrive.
Her mother died two days later at Derriford hospital as a result of pneumonia and her broken hip, according to Dr D Harmse who carried out the post-mortem examination.
Ms Wilson explained that she was about to make a phonecall on Monday October 7 when she heard a loud shout coming from the garden.
“I heard a loud noise. It was mum moaning.
"She was calling out my name,” she recalled.
“I dropped everything and ran to her. I checked her over without moving her.
"I grabbed my blanket and waterproof coat to cover her as it was raining.
“She said she was going out to get the washing when the back step flipped causing her to fall.
“I pressed her Aid Call button to alert an ambulance. I think the time was roughly 1.40pm.”
She said she contacted the emergency services again shortly after 2pm to express concern that medical staff had not showed up yet.
“I said to them, it’s raining and she’s lying on a cold hard floor,” added Ms Wilson.
The call handler explained that it had not been half-an-hour yet, meaning they were still within their target time.
A single paramedic who had come from Torpoint turned up but he explained he could not move her on his own, according to Ms Wilson.
He treated the elderly patient and gave her morphine while she lay on the ground.
Ms Wilson estimated that an ambulance crew arrived at 2.45pm.
Daniel Thorogood, a spokesman for South West Ambulance Service, told the court through a submitted statement that demand for an ambulance service in South West Devon was higher than expected that day.
The ambulance crew that attended Mrs Wilson had been called to a suspected asthma attack, an 11-year-old having a fit and a man with a cardiac history, aged 86, who was complaining of chest pains.
They all required rapid response within eight minutes.
The calls were stood down allowing them to head to Mrs Wilson’s address in Crabtree in Plymouth.
The Royal Navy seaman’s widow died on Wednesday October 9 after an operation and time spent in intensive care.
Coroner Ian Arrow recorded an accidental death.