AN inquest has opened after a patient at a mental health unit in Bolton died after contracting coronavirus.

At Bolton Coroner's Court assistant coroner Stephen Teasdale heard how Anne Varley, whose address was given as Honeysuckle Lodge, a female in-patient unit in the grounds of the Royal Bolton Hospital, died on May 29.

Police Coroner's Officer Andrew Pickles told Mr Teasdale how unemployed Miss Varley, aged 64, was admitted to the general hospital on February 25 after complaining of feeling unwell.

"She tested positive for Covid-19 and was placed on a respiratory ward," said Mr Pickles.

"Unfortunately she declined while there and on May 29 at 3.51am a doctor pronounced her life extinct."

Police issued an appeal to try and find Miss Varley's next-of-kin and a photograph, provided by staff at Honeysuckle Lodge, which is run by Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust and the Alternative Futures Group, was used to formally identify her.

Following a post mortem examination, a pathologist gave her cause of death as pneumonia and Covid-19 infection. Mr Teasdale formally released the body for a funeral.

The inquest was adjourned for statements and documentary evidence to be gathered and a pre-inquest review was fixed for September 14.