A PENSIONER who died in hospital after developing a chest infection could not have been saved with treatment, an inquest heard today.

Ethel Murray was taken to Southampton General Hospital after collapsing in her garden in Mansell Road, Millbrook.

Mrs Murray, a diabetes sufferer, was initially transferred to Royal South Hants Hospital for rehabilitation for a suspected hip fracture following the fall.

But two days later she was sent back to the General after nurses became concerned for her health.

The inquest heard General staff felt she was stable on initial exams, but she died just hours later in August 2010 aged 80.

But medical experts told Coroner Keith Wiseman she arrived too late for treatment to be effective.

Dr Ian Gove, consultant in elderly medicine at RSH, said: "In older patients it takes about 48 hours before you see a consistent response to antibiotics. Even if Mrs Murray had had a dose on arrival it is extremely unlikely treatment would have made a difference."

Staff at both hospitals said they were happy with their treatment of Mrs Murray and said there was nothing to suggest her condition would deteriorate so suddenly.

The inquest heard both hospitals also conducted reviews of her care but no specific problems were found.

Mr Wiseman will consider the evidence before recording a verdict on February 11.