Specialist Medical Lawyers Say Lessons Must Be Learnt As Both Care Home And Hospital Agree Settlement
The son of a war hero who was admitted to hospital a total of nine times, and endured surgery to amputate his toes, because of poor treatment has called for medical staff at the two institutions responsible to ensure they give vulnerable patients a better standard of care.
David Rudkin Jones, who served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, was 88 years old when he became a resident at the Lister House care home in Ripon in August 2008 He had type two diabetes and suffered from dementia, meaning he needed careful care and close attention.
David’s son, John instructed specialist medical lawyers at Irwin Mitchell after becoming concerned at the standard of nursing care provided to his father by Lister House and Harrogate District Hospital between August 2008 and July 2009. The family was worried because David had been admitted to hospital a total of nine times to treat infections, pressure sores and hypoglycaemic attacks because of his diabetes.
Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell carried out a detailed investigation consulting medical experts who found many instances of negligent care including:
- incomplete nursing records,
- inspections and assessments were not carried out,
- there were delays in referring him for medical and diet assessments regarding his erratic and dangerously fluctuating blood glucose readings,
- and his pressure sore management and prevention was poor.
Because of the standard of nursing care provided to David, he was admitted to Harrogate Hospital seven times for repeated pressure ulcers to his toes, heels and sacrum, infections, sepsis (blood poisoning), hypoglycaemic and hyperglycaemic attacks caused by his diabetes. He also required surgery at York General Hospital on two occasions to amputate his left big and second right toe and to remove dead tissue from his heels down to the bone.
In July 2009 David was moved to Kingsley BUPA nursing care home in Harrogate where he was nursed back to health and suffered no further injuries. He died aged 91 in 2011 of natural causes. He has just the one son and six grandchildren who live in and around Yorkshire.
Irwin Mitchell secured a five-figure out-of-court settlement from the Lister House care home and Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and say the treatment he received fell short of an acceptable standard. They are now calling for assurances that care has been improved to prevent further unnecessary injuries in future.
James Thompson, a specialist medical lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the family, said: “Unfortunately David was let down at the time he needed help most when he was a vulnerable patient suffering from dementia. His family are angry at the poor treatment and care he received at Lister House and Harrogate District Hospital and wanted to highlight the case.
“Patient safety should be the number one concern of all care homes and hospitals but in this case staff made very basic errors such as poor record keeping, missed assessments and inspections, delays in referrals for treatment and poor management of his pressure sores and diabetes. We hope this case serves as a reminder to medical professionals and highlights that sub-standard treatment is not acceptable.”
John, from Harrogate, said: “We wanted to highlight my father’s case because his treatment was simply inexcusable. We had become concerned that he had to be admitted to hospital several times and the Irwin Mitchell investigation confirmed our fears that he was not being looked after correctly.
“Thankfully he did recover well at Kingsley nursing care home and staff at York General Hospital were great, but unfortunately this was too late and he had already suffered for too long. I just hope that care homes and hospitals make sure they give patients their utmost attention, especially those with dementia as I would hate for anyone to suffer the pain my father did.”