The family of an independent 96-year-old who died after falling at home has praised the “fantastic staff” at a Norfolk hospital. 

The heartfelt praise was expressed at an inquest into the death of Stella Payne, of Bradwell, near Great Yarmouth

Norfolk Coroner’s Court heard how Mrs Payne had been found on the floor of her kitchen in Bradwell Avenue on February 16. 

Her daughter, Barbara Robinson, had carried out a welfare check on her after Mrs Payne failed to ring her at an agreed time. 

The retired factory operative was taken to the James Paget Hospital, Gorleston, where she was found to have a broken thigh and damaged kidney.  

Despite an operation, she died at the hospital the following day. 

Mrs Robinson said: “The doctors and nurses did a fantastic job looking after her. 

“The care at the hospital... We could not have asked for better.” 

The court, based at County Hall, Norwich, heard that Mrs Payne lived alone and was “very independent and looked after herself” by doing her own cooking, washing, and housework. 

Mrs Robinson added: “She did not ask for help from anybody. 

“Mum was healthy, I can’t remember the last time she had a cold, but she was a bit unsteady on her feet so always used her walking stick.” 

Her GP from the Millwood Surgery, Great Yarmouth, described her as being in “good health” with “a remarkably sparse medical history” given her age. 

The primary medical cause of death was given as acute renal failure. 

Area coroner, Samantha Goward, concluded that she died “as a result of the consequences of an unwitnessed fall at home”. 

Mrs Payne, nee Church, had been born on September 12, 1927, in nearby Burgh Castle, and was the widow of lorry driver, Cecil Payne.

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