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October 30th 2012

Medical Negligence

Family Seeks Compensation Over Mum’s “Undignified Death”

Helena Wood

Helena Wood

Associate, Clinical Negligence

Family Seeks Compensation Over Mum’s “Undignified Death”

Three daughters have sought legal advice after their mother was left to die in a urine-soaked bed in complete agony. The hospital involved is now separately under investigation for failing standards.

Three daughters have sought legal advice after their mother was left to die in a urine-soaked bed in complete agony. The hospital involved is now separately under investigation for failing standards.

Relatives of 80-year-old Monica Glover say their mother died “a horrible and undignified death” in Scunthorpe General Hospital having endured hours of pain and discomfort.

Just last month Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – in charge of Scunthorpe General Hospital – came under the spotlight when a new report revealed mortality rates are one of the worst in the country.

The damning report – delivered by the North and North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups – revealed that officials were disappointed with the lack of end-of-life care and the overall hospital experience at Scunthorpe General Hospital.

Now Mrs Glover’s family are seeking compensation for the pain and suffering to which their mother was subjected.

In the months leading up to her death, Mrs Glover was admitted to Scunthorpe General Hospital on numerous occasions.  From first admission in January 2011 to the time of her death in August 2011 she suffered more than ten urinary infections. In the previous 18 months, she had suffered only three.

The catalogue of medical neglect experienced in the hospital from January to August 2011 included:

Waiting more than ten hours on a hospital trolley to go from A&E to the Medical Assessment Unit.
Having inappropriate dressings applied to wounds on her legs – causing fluid to leak out onto the floor. On occasions, her family even had to bring their own bandages in from home.
Nurses “tutting and rolling their eyes” when anything was requested for Mrs Glover.
No attention given to her diabetes.
Mrs Glover being put in an electric reclining chair which had not been charged up so it did not work.
A dietician who saw Mrs Glover the day before she passed away stating that she had been starved as she had not been given a food tube.
Now Mrs Glover’s relatives have turned to medical negligence specialists Hudgell Solicitors for assistance in pursuing their claim.

One of Mrs Glover’s daughters, Nicola Glover, explains what happened between January and August 2011: “My mum was first admitted into Scunthorpe General Hospital in January 2011. She’d been recovering from a chest infection and her GP wanted to admit her to keep check on her progress.

“When we got to mum’s allocated bed we discovered it wasn’t the right type, so we put her in a chair and waited for a new bed. This never came and when I returned the next day she was still sitting in the same chair.

“She had dressings on her legs for pressure wounds and these had become saturated to the point that they were leaking with excess fluid. We felt disgusted with her care and so we discharged her.”

Helena continues: “She spent the next six months in and out of Scunthorpe General Hospital. After being admitted into hospital for the final time with a urine infection she quickly developed sepsis and renal failure and deteriorated very rapidly. It was extremely upsetting for the whole family.”

“On August 9, we were told by an intensive care doctor that nothing could be done. I don’t think the end of life care system was put in quickly enough and believe she died in an undignified manner in a place she didn’t want to be in.”

Helena Wood, a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence law at Hudgell Solicitors, comments: “Whilst Mrs Glover should have been safe in the care of medical professionals, she had to endure a great deal of pain and suffering. We are working closely with her family to support them and investigate their allegations of negligence against the Hospital Trust.  We aim to secure a financial settlement to compensate them for all the upset they suffered in the days leading up to Mrs Glover’s death together with the explanations they deserve as to why their mother was treated in this manner.”

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