An elderly woman who died of hypothermia told her GP she couldn't afford to heat her home due to the cost of living crisis, an inquest has heard.
Barbara Bolton, 87, was admitted to Fairfield Hospital on 11 December last year with the condition, as well as a chest infection.
Her GP had admitted her to hospital after she disclosed that the cost of living crisis had meant she could not turn on the heating in her home in Bury, Greater Manchester, as temperatures in the country plummeted to below freezing.
Ms Bolton died on 5 January while in hospital after a decision was made with her family to place her on end of life care.
Police coroner's officer, Jane Scullion, told an inquest opening at Rochdale Coroner's Court: "Barbara was admitted to hospital on 11 December, 2022, with hypothermia, and a chest infection.
"She was referred to hospital by her GP who said this was related to her not being able to afford her heating.
"During that time she continued to deteriorate. After a discussion she was placed on end of life care and passed away."
Following the inquest, Ms Bolton's son Mark, said: "We were in contact with her every day and saw her and spoke to her.
"We have to deal with the sad loss now and it's very hard for me and my family."
The government introduced the energy bills support scheme last year in an effort to help Britons struggling to pay energy bills after prices shot up.
The scheme was introduced to provide £400 for households to help warm their homes over winter, with many energy firms automatically applying the discount to bills,
Customers with pre-payment meters, who are often among the most vulnerable in society, are either emailed or posted a voucher that have to be redeemed at refill points.
However, well over 100,000 vouchers that were meant to help people to afford their energy bills in October expired without being claimed, according to figures from PayPoint.
Assistant coroner for Manchester North, Julie Mitchell, adjourned the inquest and requested statements from Ms Bolton's doctor and asked for a medical cause of death to be provided.
"Her death was particularly accelerated by hypothermia and there is a possibility of self neglect due to the lack of heating so her death has been referred to the coroner," she said.
A full inquest, which will explore the circumstances which led to Ms Bolton's death, will take place at Rochdale Coroner's Court later this year.