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Widow Receives Six Figure Sum For Husbands Inadequate Falls Risk Assessments

Liam Riley, a Solicitor in the Medical Law and Patient’s Rights Team at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds, carried out an investigation into the standard of care to the woman's late husband.

The man suffered from a number of falls whilst at home and was admitted to Dewsbury Hospital in June 2011. The following day, he was discharged to Batley Hall Residential Home, however after only remaining there for one day, he was readmitted to Dewsbury Hospital with confusion.

Whilst in hospital, his mobility was poor and he suffered a series of falls. During his care, he was also tested for MRSA and in July 2011 a positive result was found.

On 1 August 2011, the man was discharged into Ings Grove Care Home, however, on 4 August 2011 he was readmitted to Dewsbury Hospital with urinary retention and haematuria.

A Falls Risk Assessment was not carried out when he returned to hospital and whilst he waited in the Emergency Department, he fell knocking his head which caused a large swelling.

Later the same day, he was transferred to Pinderfields General Hospital after waiting for 7 hours. It was noted to observe him overnight and consider the need for further investigation.

He fell once more whilst waiting on the Surgical Assessment Unit and cut his eyebrow and fractured his right femur.

He then underwent surgery on his fractured femur, however, his MRSA complicated the fracture wound. Therefore, several further operations were completed to treat the infection and he was given IV antibiotics. 

The man's condition worsened and despite receiving IV antibiotics throughout August and September, he died in October 2011 from hospital acquired pneumonia; congestive cardiac failure and osteoporotic fracture of the right neck of the femur.

Following the assistance of Irwin Mitchell, it was identified that there were significant failings by the Trust in failing to perform adequate Falls Risk Assessments. The widower of the man received £110,000 in compensation on behalf of her late husband and the injuries he had received.

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