A former nurse who died after a fall in hospital had fallen several times at home, but a form completed on her admission wrongly stated that she had no record of recent falls.

An inquest in Ruthin heard that since the death of 84-year-old Dorothy Evans transient staff such as agency nurses received better training in the completion of forms and liaison with family members had also improved.

Mrs Evans, of Ffordd Hirwaun, Prestatyn, who suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), was admitted to Glan Clwyd Hospital on June 10 last year and the form containing the “ tick box” about no falls in the past 12 months was completed while she was in the emergency department.

In a statement read at the hearing her son Darren Jenkins said she had a history of falling at home and had had several hospital admissions.

She was later transferred to Ward 1, the care of the elderly ward, but on June 22 was found lying on the floor near her bed. No-one had witnessed the fall. She had fractured her hip and because of her medical condition surgery was delayed until the 29th.

However, her condition deteriorated and she died on July 28. The cause of death was given as exacerbation of COPD due to immobility after being bedbound.

“I felt that better care should have been in place for my mother on Ward 1,” said Mr Jenkins.

Ward manager Rhian Jones said that most of the patients on the ward were at risk of falling and the correct falls pathway, involving a detailed assessment of the risk, was carried out, but she told John Gittins, coroner for North Wales East and Central, that they were often too busy to review the risk.

Mr Gittins said he was fully aware of the growing volume of paperwork staff were expected to complete, and Debra Hickman, secondary care nurse director with the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, commented: “We are very good at adding on but not good at taking it away, and it does not always add value.”

She said that although the Board, like all others, faced difficulty in recruiting staff, the situation was improving.

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, the coroner said that in view of the assurances he had been given he did not feel it necessary to issue a Regulation 28 notice to prevent future deaths.

“But I shall keep a close eye on things,” he added.