Start your claim

January 12th 2017

Hospital Negligence

Hospital admits poor care led to death of 83-year-old patient who broke hip after series of falls

Hospital admits poor care led to death of 83-year-old patient who broke hip after series of falls

A Hospital Trust has admitted the poor care provided to an 83-year-old patient led to him suffering six falls in less than a month – one resulting in a broken hip which ultimately led to his death two weeks later.

A Hospital Trust has admitted the poor care provided to an 83-year-old patient led to him suffering six falls in less than a month – one resulting in a broken hip which ultimately led to his death two weeks later.

Former Merchant Navy shipwright and seaman carpenter Thomas Brown had lived a fully independent life until he was admitted to South Tyneside District Hospital after becoming increasingly confused at home, and having suffered a recent fall.

His family hoped he’d be better protected from potential harm with hospital care, but in a matter of weeks he’d suffered a series of falls resulting in his broken hip. After undergoing surgery to repair the break, Mr Brown suffered a further fall the following day and died two weeks later after developing urinary sepsis.

Patient’s health deteriorated quickly after hospital admission

Despite suffering from prostate cancer, Mr Brown, the father of seven children, a grandfather to 19 and great-grandfather of nine, was described by his daughter Kaye as being active and independent prior to attending hospital.

He lived alone at home doing his own washing, shopping and enjoying regular 45 minute walks to keep fit and active. However, on admission to hospital his health deteriorated quickly.

“The care for my father in hospital was appalling, he should have been placed under close supervision to prevent him falling as he was confused, but he suffered fall after fall in a matter of weeks,” said his daughter Kaye Millward, 41.

“He never suffered any falls when we were there with him as we often stayed for around 10 hours when we visited. However, when we left it was clear that staff weren’t looking after him as he kept having fall after fall.

Family felt hospital ward was ‘chaotic’

Mrs Millward says hospital staff reassured them that her father was being appropriately cared for when they asked questions and raised concerns, with an alarm put in place to alert staff should he attempt to leave his bed.

However, she says she and her family witnessed many occasions during visiting times when other patients on the same ward started to wander, without staff attending quickly despite alarms sounding.

“There were many times that we’d see other patients get out of bed. Alarms were sounding and we’d put them back, and it would be ages before any nurses came and responded. It was like they were understaffed and the organisation was chaotic,” she said.

“Looking back, we should have just taken him out of hospital there and then and taken him home with us, especially after he’d had the first couple of falls, but you trust that doctors are looking after them and you think they are in the best place.”

thomas-brown-old-pic

Falls led to various injuries and broken hip

Mr Brown suffered his first fall in hospital just two days after he’d been admitted, suffering an injury to his elbow whilst attempting to get out of bed. The next day, he was transferred to another ward, when he was noted to have ‘tripped in the bay’ and fell backwards, banging his head.

Two days later, staff at the hospital reported hearing a bang from his room, when he was believed to have fallen out of his bed and hit the radiator. He then suffered a further fall three days later after an attempt to go to the toilet unaided, whilst the person providing one-to-one supervision was on a meal break.

“My father was just simply not given basic care,” added Mrs Millward.

“How hard can it be to make sure somebody else is covering for you to look after a patient when you go on a break? It’s like they didn’t care.”

Two weeks later, Mr Brown suffered the injury which ultimately led to his death, as he fell outside the fire doors at the end of the ward and fractured his hip. This meant he had to undergo a hip screw fixation, but even after this he suffered a fall on the ward a day later, suffering an injury to his head.

Mr Brown died two weeks later, with the cause of death recorded as urinary sepsis, prostate cancer and a fractured hip contributory factors.

‘South Shields Hospital failed to follow basic standards of care’ – medical negligence solicitor Nasreen Khan

Medical negligence solicitor Nasreen Khan, of specialists Hudgell Solicitors, led the legal case against South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, which runs South Tyneside District Hospital, on behalf of Mr Brown’s family. It has resulted in a damages settlement being reached with the family.

She said there were clear failings in care which ultimately led to Mr Brown losing his life.

The hospital failed to follow basic standards of care for Mr Brown upon his admission and these failings ultimately led to his death following the fall which caused him to suffer a broken hip.

An Independent Nursing Consultant who examined the case concluded that Mr Brown was clearly a patient at a high risk of falls, and that with appropriate care the risk could have been significantly reduced to being minimal.

Sadly, the failure to follow basic standards of care has led to the loss of a much loved father, grandfather and great-grandfather. His family’s frustration and anger is understandable.

Hospital admits failings and agrees compensation after legal action through Hudgell Solicitors

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust admitted it had failed to correctly assess Mr Brown’s risk of falls on admission to hospital, leading to a failure to class him as a ‘high risk’.

It admitted this therefore meant they failed to carry out daily assessments, and failed to ensure he had one-to-one care during nursing breaks.

The Trust admitted that had it taken appropriate action and introduced the relevant care plans following Mr Brown’s first fall, the subsequent falls and injuries suffered could have been avoided.

It also admitted Mr Brown’s death can be attributed to the fall, resulting in the fractured neck of the femur, without which he would not have required surgery and developed urosepsis and subsequently died.’

Mrs Millward added:

I want people to know how the hospital let my father down. The fact that he still suffered another fall the day after his operation says it all.

There is no way I’d let any other members of my family go there again. They’ve admitted being at fault for my father’s death and other people need to know what happened. It is disgraceful.

 

What Our Clients Say

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Brillant service"

Brillant service , from start to finish definitely recommend hudgells solicitors all the hard work is done for you wouldn’t hesitate to use them again or recommend them

LeannFebruary 21, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Hudgell Solicitors have given me…"

Hudgell Solicitors have given me outstanding service and support through a difficult time. They have assisted me in claiming compensation which they made the journey of getting it as easy as possible.

KatieFebruary 14, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Couldn't be easier"

Couldn't be easier. From the initial call the whole process was handled smoothly and effortlessly.

Kevin RobertFebruary 14, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Amazing !!"

I felt relaxed through the whole process, i was made to feel confident in winning my case which i would like to add i did 😁 .. the company kept me informed all the way through by emails aswell as telephone calls, i would highly recomend to everyone needing expert…

LesleyFebruary 11, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Really happy with the service I had…"

Really happy with the service I had from Hudgells & Alex was great!

Natalie PayneFebruary 10, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Claim resolved quickly and efficiently"

The lawyer was quick to respond and always kept me updated on progress. Everything was resolved efficiently. I would certainly recommend them to family and friends.

Lulu BFebruary 04, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"There when ever I needed to ask a…"

There when ever I needed to ask a question, very informative, brilliant job definitely use them again if I needed too

KatieFebruary 03, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Thank you Sarah Kidd"

Sarah Kidd was fantastic she give me the best advice always keeping me up to date with everything that was going on

Christopher DixonJanuary 31, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"It took over 3 years to resolve my case…"

It took over 3 years to resolve my case and Hudgell supported me throughout with great sensitivity and professionalism. My caseworker, Gemma, always kept me updated and was easily reached if l had questions to ask. Can wholeheartedly recommend Hudgell.

Robert WebsterJanuary 31, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Every time I phoned my call was…"

Every time I phoned my call was answered in a polite manner and I got answers to my questions.

KhalidJanuary 30, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Anthony and his team at Hudgell…"

Anthony and his team at Hudgell solicitors are extremely professional and caring People. From the first phone conversation right through to completion i was always kept updated, if i had any concerns and contacted them, they were always happy to listen and put my mind at rest. I would highly…

Mrs lisa martinJanuary 21, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent service"

Great service . Made me feel at ease . Proffesional and very quick to respond to any questions or concerns I would highly reccomend

LesleyJanuary 21, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent service"

Excellent service

JensonJanuary 21, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent service"

Excellent service, Alex Garven was most helpful in dealing with my claim. Many thanks for his hard work in getting a result for me,. It took quite a while but during that time I received regular progress updates and a quick response if I had any queries .

Jill ElliottJanuary 15, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Lauren Dale"

Lauren Dale was so sensitive when dealing with my mums claim and she totally understood what i really wanted from the outcome. she kept me fully informed of everything, as and when it happened. I cannot thank her enough for her help and understanding on such a sensitive case. 5…

Jane from North YorkshieJanuary 11, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent Service"

Excellent, professional and friendly solicitors. It was a very simple process and they kept in constant contact to update me on any developments. Would definitely recommend.

Philippa January 09, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Could not have been simpler or easier"

Could not have been simpler or easier, they did everything required and more. Nice, pleasant to talk to, they do all the leg work, put everything into context and resolve as quick as possible. Hopefully will not have to use again but if a situation arises then would not hesitate…

DarrenJanuary 08, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Very helpful and always kept in touch…"

Very helpful and always kept in touch via email through the while process. Highly recommended

Joseph Conrad Waudby January 07, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Brilliant customer service"

Brilliant customer service, always will contact you as they say they will. Have been very helpful with my case and explained the process thoroughly, very easy to understand. Would definitely recommend.

Julia MatildaJanuary 07, 2020