Traumatic final journey of Rainham grandmother Violet, 105

One of Havering’s oldest residents has died in hospital aged 105 but the last week of Violet Watts’ life was traumatic.

A heavy metal oxygen regulator struck the 105-year-old on the head after it fell from a shelf during a journey from Durham House Care Home, in Upminster, to Queen’s Hospital, last Thursday (October 18).

The grandmother died on Wednesday (October 24) from end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Her granddaughter Lyn Yates alleged: “What happened in the ambulance didn’t kill her. But it put added stress on her and caused added complications. She just could not go on fighting anymore.”

Violet had only moved into the care home in Harwood Hall Lane a month ago from her home in Rainham.


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She was lying on a stretcher in the ambulance, being given oxygen, when the incident happened.

The life-long Rainham resident was being taken to visit an orthopaedic consultant because her leg was in a cast from an earlier injury.

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She was running late after a first ambulance – a hospital outpatient service run by G4S – couldn’t accommodate her stretcher. After the accident in the second vehicle – also run by G4S – she was taken to the hospital’s A&E department.

She later developed pneumonia and other complications – but relatives believed she was improving.

The family want G4S to launch an urgent investigation into what happened.

A G4S spokesman said: “We would like to pass on our sincere condolences to the family of Violet Watts for their loss. We take the health and welfare of people in our care extremely seriously and will, of course, co-operate fully with any investigation necessary. At this stage, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”

Violet’s funeral will take place at South Essex Crematorium, in Ockendon Road, Upminster, on November 2 from 12.40pm.

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