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Leeds Woman Dies Due To Medical Negligence In Care Home

Our client, an 87 year old woman from Leeds, was admitted to Hopton Court Care Home, operated by Southern Cross Healthcare Services Limited. Our client was suffering with dementia and she was becoming increasingly unable to manage her own care. She could walk with a Zimmer frame for a few steps, and with support she could rise from a chair using her arms, but she was always meant to be moved by two carers. 

On 2 September 2010, at about 2pm, our client’s husband returned to the care home to find his wife was screaming out and said that she was in pain. She was pointing to her leg on the right side and also had a cut and a bruise to her right eyebrow and it was very swollen; she was very distressed.

Our client’s husband queried what had happened and was advised by staff that it was thought that she had a urinary infection. Our client’s husband requested that she be examined by a doctor, but the care home advised it would be best to wait until the following day to see if she picked up.

The following day our client was no better, so the care home arranged for a GP to examine her. She was referred to hospital and she was diagnosed with a fractured right hip. She required an operation to pin her hip. Following the fracture and operation our client was in a lot of pain and her nursing needs increased. She continued to deteriorate and sadly passed away in May 2011.

The husband approached Irwin Mitchell Solicitors for assistance with bringing a medical negligence claim against Southern Cross Care Homes. It was alleged that on the night of the 1st or the morning of the 2nd September 2010, our client suffered a fall, which caused her to suffer a fracture. The care home should have had adequate procedures in place to ensure that our client did not suffer a fall. Two carers should have been used to move her and railings should have been put on the bed, especially since she had previously fallen out of bed. Our client was not taken to hospital until 4 September 2011, which resulted in severe pain for over 24 hours. However, it was not alleged that the fracture resulted in our client’s death.

The Leeds Safeguarding Adults Partnership investigated what had happened and found that there was neglect in that bedrails should have been put up on the bed before our client fell. There was also only one carer moving her on the morning of 2 September 2010 and when our client was admitted to Hopton Court Care Home her care plan stated that she needed 2 people to move her. It was also found that there was neglect in that our client was left complaining in pain for over 24 hours before medical care was sought.

Irwin Mitchell settled the case following negotiations and £6,000 compensation was awarded to reflect our client’s pain and suffering.

If have lost a loved one due to fatal negligence, we may be able to help you claim compensation. See our Medical Negligence Guide for more information.

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