11 Dec 2013

Rest home hoist in working order, inquest told

6:26 am on 11 December 2013

An engineer who serviced a rest home hoist before it collapsed, killing an elderly woman, has told an inquest that it was in working order when he checked it.

Lillian Wilson, 87, fell about one metre and suffered serious head injuries as she was being transferred from her bed to a chair at the Cedar Manor Home in Tauranga in February 2010.

She never regained consciousness and died in hospital two days later. She had been at the rest home for seven years.

Graeme Rusbatch from B.V Medical serviced the hoist two months before the accident.

He told the inquest in Rotorua on Tuesday that he spent some time tightening lose nuts and after that he was fully confident it was safe to use.

Independent engineer Neil Rogers told the coroner that, in his view, a cut-down nut he found on the hoist after the accident was not safe.

The inquest was told a maintenance man employed at the home may possibly have done some work on the hoist, but because he passed away not long after, it will never be known.