Woman fell ‘like domino’ from Borders ambulance

Ambulance: Fiona Barber 'fell like a domino'. Picture: TSPL

Ambulance: Fiona Barber 'fell like a domino'. Picture: TSPL

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AN ARTIST who died after hitting her head while leaving an ambulance at the entrance to Borders General Hospital fell “like a domino”, a fatal accident inquiry has been told.

Fiona Barber, 71, was going down the steps of the vehicle backwards to attend a routine appointment when she lost her grip and fell on top of a health worker who was guiding her.

He tried to break her fall but Mrs Barber hit the back of her head on the ground and she died two weeks later at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

The accident happened more than five years ago on 21 December, 2009, when Mrs Barber was picked up from her home at Lindean, near Selkirk, and transported to Borders General Hospital.

Keith Murray, 52, a patient transport care worker with the Scottish Ambulance Service, 
said she walked with the assistance of a four-wheel trolley but had declined to be put on the ambulance in a wheelchair using the hydraulic platform at the rear.

Mr Murray explained that he was holding on to Mrs Barber as she made her exit through the side door of the ambulance.

He told the inquiry at Selkirk Sheriff Court that Mrs Barber, who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, was moving backwards down the steps when she lost her grip.

The inquiry before Sheriff James Farrell continues.

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