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Accidental death verdict for Gloucester-born Hollyoaks actress's father

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 17, 2014

GLoucestershire Coroner's Court

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An accidental death verdict has been recorded on the dad of Gloucester-born TV actress Yasmin Bannerman.

Robert Bannerman, 72, who was blind and suffering from confusion, did not initially go to hospital after the falls but he later suffered a stroke and was admitted.

His 41-year-old daughter, whose TV credits include Hollyoaks, Cold Feet, Casualty and Dr Who, told the inquest her dad's falls in April last year were not witnessed by any of the family or his carers.

But Ms Bannerman, who was born in Gloucester and attended St Peter's School in the city, said there was an 'unexplained dent' in a wall at his home in Albany Road, Cheltenham.

He was too confused to be able to tell the family what had happened, she said.

Mr Bannerman died in Cheltenham General Hospital on August 7 from pneumonia brought on by brain haemorrhages, against a background of blood and bone marrow disorders.

He had suffered a number of health problems in the months after the fall and when he had a suspected stroke on July 23, he was admitted to hospital.

Accident and emergency consultant Dr Steve McCabe said as well as the stroke, Mr Bannerman had a number of other medical problems.

There had been a gradual deterioration in his general health, independence and mobility over the previous six to nine months; he was blind; had chronic subdural haemorrhaging since April and was confused.

It was initially decided he should be cared for at home, but his carers felt they could not provide the level of care required and so he was admitted to the acute care unit, Dr McCabe said.

Later, Mr Bannerman was transferred to Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, but consultant neurosurgeon Dr Ian Pople said, in a statement, that he was too ill to undergo surgery and that he expressed a wish not to have an operation.

He returned to Cheltenham General Hospital and after discussion between medical staff and his family, it was agreed that his treatment should be changed from acute to palliative care.

Consultant pathologist Professor Neil Shepherd, who carried out a post mortem examination, said there were no obvious signs of trauma or skull fracture, but a number of chronic subdural haematoma.

Professor Shepherd said Mr Bannerman died from bronchopneumonia caused by bilateral subdural haematomas against a background of mylodyplastic or myloproliferative disorders, which he found during analysis of bone marrow samples.

Gloucestershire assistant coroner Katie Skerrett said it was not clear when Mr Bannerman suffered the haematomas, but he had one or more traumatic falls in or around April.

"Mr Bannerman’s general health was clearly deteriorating and that is why his mobility was so impaired, his blindness, the fact he fell so often," she said.

The coroner said that Mr Bannerman died despite the best medical efforts and consideration by medical staff of all options.

There was a lot of natural disease present but the final factor was linked to the haematoma, they were traumatic in nature arising from an accidental fall or falls.

Mrs Skerrett said the appropriate conclusion was accidental death.

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