Our client was 87 when she died. She lived at home with her husband but was bedridden. A home care team visited the house four times a day to care for her and this system had worked well for several years.
In September 2004, one of the carers was going on holiday and so the family arranged for her to have two weeks respite care at a private nursing home.
The family notified staff at the home that she would need cot sides on her bed, as she had previously fallen out of bed. Despite this, no cot sides were put on the bed. As a result, she fell out of bed twice in two days, sustaining injuries. The family were not informed of these incidents and only found out when they noticed bruising to her shoulder.
A few days later, our client's family noticed that her foot was swollen. After she returned home, they noticed that her calf and hip were also bruised. She was taken to hospital where x-rays showed that she had fractured bones in her foot and her pelvis. This had clearly been causing her a lot of pain. Her condition deteriorated and, sadly, she died two weeks later.
The injuries were caused by falls from bed while she was in the nursing home. An investigation into what happened at the home has now been undertaken by the CSCI. The report concluded that the home should have fitted cot sides to the bed, and recommended that further training be given to staff at the home. It also criticised the failure of medical staff to realise that our client had sustained injuries, and to arrange for appropriate medical help.
Several other criticisms were made of the home.
Sarah Rowland of Irwin Mitchell was successful in pursuing a clinical negligence compensation claim for the family against the nursing home.
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