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Inquest opens into death of elderly woman who drank cleaning fluid in hospital

Joan Blaber from Lewes died after drinking cleaning fluid Photo: ITV Meridian

An inquest has opened into the death of an elderly woman, who drank cleaning fluid at a Brighton hospital.

85-year-old Joan Blaber from Lewes was being treated at the Royal Sussex County Hospital after suffering a stroke in September last year.

She drank the cleaning fluid from a water jug - thinking it was orange juice.

Joan Blaber from Lewes died after drinking cleaning fluid Credit: ITV Meridian

In May the Care Quality Commisson published a damning report following inspections of several wards where they found unattended cleaning trolleys containing hazarardous substances, products not always stored securely and paper work not always complete.

Joan Blaber was being treated at the Royal Sussex County Hospital after suffering a stroke Credit: ITV Meridian

"In the seven months since the CQC's inspection, we have taken significant steps to improve the way we manage potentially hazardous substances, both in terms of staff training and the way these substances are stored and used."

– Medical Director, Dr Rob Haigh

The hearing is expected to last two weeks.