A coroner yesterday criticised a psychiatrist left £1.5 million by a patient who died after a fall.

Recording an open verdict on Patricia May, aged 66, who died in London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital after falling in the bathroom of her Mayfair flat, Westminster coroner Dr Paul Knapman said he accepted there was no intimate impropriety in her friendship with Dr Peter Rowan, aged 58.

But he added: "The unfortunate element has been the blurring of the distinction between a platonic friendship and a doctor-patient relationship.

"It is more unfortunate when the prescribing of quite powerful drugs was involved, especially as record keeping seems inadequate and the GP was not informed."

The inquest heard allegations Miss May, who died in March 2003, became infatuated with Dr Rowan, who treated her for 16 years.

Dr Rowan, a specialist in eating disorders who occasionally works at the Priory hospital in Roehampton, south-west London, was the main beneficiary of Miss May's will.

He denied asking Miss May to rewrite her will.

And he rejected suggestions drugs he prescribed might have contributed to her death.

Dr Knapman was strongly critical of a doctor who issued the death certificate.

The inquest heard from Dr James Lindsay, working as a registrar at the Chelsea and Westminster at the time.

He gave cause of death as bronchio-pneumonia, with other factors a pulmonary embolus and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Dr Knapman said the matter was not reported to the coroner, even though any violent death, including accident, was supposed to be.

He said: "The less said about the illogical, inaccurate and inappropriate death certificate issued by Dr Lindsay, the better. Unfortunately, this case was not reported to the coroner, though no autopsy was performed, no analysis of the blood made, and the body was cremated."

He added: "We simply do not know if she was taking Dr Rowan's medication, irrespective of whether it has any bearing on the death. She died from respiratory failure of unknown cause."

Miss May's GP, Dr Gordon Atkinson said he did not know Dr Rowan was prescribing Temazepam, Lorazepam and Anafranil for her, and said: "It would have been helpful to have known."