Mystery of OAP's death at care home

What caused a pensioner to fall out of his wheelchair and suffer a fatal head injury remains a mystery, a coroner has concluded.

Brian Dennison, aged 80, died from a traumatic brain injury five days after he hit his head at Belle Green Court care home, Belle Green Lane, Cudworth, Barnsley.

An inquest at Sheffield Coroners' Court heard the childless bachelor suffered from Parkinson's Disease and was confined to a wheelchair.

He had been woken by care assistants Brian Lyons and Sarah McFarlane on the morning of June 6 last year and wheeled towards the home's lounge.

Assistant deputy coroner Donald Coutts-Wood, summarising the evidence, said that Mr Lyons' attention was temporarily diverted as he was taking Mr Dennison to the lounge.

"He stopped and turned away at which point he heard a noise and discovered Mr Dennison had fallen from the chair and was lying on the floor."

Mr Dennison was taken to Barnsley District General Hospital where doctors discovered a terminal subdural haematoma - a bleed on the brain for which they could offer no treatment. He was taken back to the home, where he died five days after his fall.

The home's manager Sylvia Forster told the inquest carers felt there was no need for Mr Dennison to have a belt fitted to his wheelchair to prevent him falling out because he had previously never had trouble while being wheeled about the home.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Coutts-Wood said: "The evidence does not reveal to me the reason why Mr Dennison fell from the chair. No one actually saw him fall. From what I have heard he was attended to well at the care home."

The coroner said the fall was "an unintended act by Mr Dennison".

He added: "However he managed to do it he managed to get himself out of the wheelchair."

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