Carers did not check on Northampton woman with chronic health problems 'for five hours', inquest hears

Isobel Baker was found dead in her flat in College Street in October.
Isobel Baker was found dead in her flat in College Street in October.

The family of a Northampton woman who was left alone for five hours before she was found dead say they "only have more questions" after hearing how she died.

Isobel Baker died at her supported flat in College Street in October 2017 after succumbing to a "cocktail" of prescription medication, morphine and alcohol.

But at an inquest into her death held yesterday (September 13), Isobel's family told the coroner the 34-year-old had been teetotal her whole life and "hated alcohol".

They also questioned why their daughter had only been checked on some five hours after her carers from Maplyn Care Services Ltd handed over in the morning, because she was only discovered in the flat at 1.40pm.

Isobel's mother Sally Harris told the coroner: "Everyone who knew Isobel knew that she did not drink. No exceptions. Ever.

"If the alcohol had not been present, how different might the outcome of her death have been?"

A post-mortem showed Isobel had ingested high doses of her prescription medication and alcohol in the hours before her death, as well as morphine.

The inquest heard that Isobel phoned her carers every day at around 8am. But when she did not phone on the morning of October 16, no action was taken.

Mrs Harris asked the assistant manager at Maplyn Patrick Fraser: "It seems strange to me that on the one day she didn't contact the staff they didn't do anything for five and a half hours."

Mr Fraser said: "It may be our staff didn't get around to it until the afternoon.

"There wasn't anything written down that she was to be contacted in the morning."

Isobel's family told the Chronicle & Echo the inquest had "only raised more questions" for them.

In a statement read out by the coroner, Mrs Harris said: "Isobel had her struggles and challenges in life. She was dearly loved and she will be sadly missed."

Isobel - who was a former rugby player - appeared in the Chronicle & Echo in April 2017 where she raised awareness that not all disabilities were visible and asked people "to think and be less judgemental".