Inquest into Harrogate care home death begins

Alexander Care Home.

Alexander Care Home.

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An inquest into the death of elderly man at a Harrogate Care Home is due to begin this morning.

William O’Connell died aged 76 at Alexander Court Care Home on Cornwall Road which has since closed its doors.

In the weeks following his death a dozen elderly residents were moved out of the 85-bed car home, formerly known as Waldern Heath, after “a series of concerns over the quality of care”.

An inquest into Mr O’Connells death was opened and adjourned on July 17 2014 and Coroner Rob Turnbull established the cause of death as respiratory obstruction.

At Harrogate Magistrates Court he said: “He was a resident at the care home and was being fed by staff at the nursing home when he started choking, a short time later CPR was carried out on Mr O’Connell but he died of respiratory obstruction caused by choking on food with Parkinsons disease as a contributory factor.

“A secondary cause of death was coronary heart problems.”

The inquest is expected to take two days and Mr O’Connell’s former carers are expected to give evidence.