A pensioner died in hospital after staff at a nursing home failed to notice she had a blocked catheter, an inquest heard.

Sylvia Macknay, 87, became a resident at Haven Lodge nursing home, in Clacton, when she was discharged from hospital after suffering a severe stroke.

Mrs Macknay, who had an extensive medical history including aortic hypertension and heart failure, needed to be fed through a tube and had a catheter fitted before her release from hospital.

When her daughter visited her at about 3pm on September 3, 2016, she noticed she was in extreme discomfort.

Staff found her catheter was blocked and had not been functioning correctly, with the last recorded check made at around almost 12 hours before. 

She was rushed to Colchester General Hospital after staff called for an ambulance, but died shortly after arrival.

Pathologist Dr Benjamin Swift, who carried out the post mortem examination, recorded the cause of death as bronchopneumonia and sepsis.

Expert witness Professor Francis Chinegwundoh, a consultant urological surgeon, said staff should have noticed her deteriorating condition and blocked catheter sooner.

“I think the urine output wasn’t maintained as it should have been,” he said.

“The catheter must have been blocked for quite some time.

“When the catheter was finally removed and re-fitted, there was about two litres of urine.

“That implies, taking into account previous documentation, it was accumulating for one to two days.”

David Connelly, manager at the home for around seven years, said staff had been re-trained in catheter care since the incident.

“We should have picked up the fact that the catheter was not draining that morning,” he said.