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August 27th 2015

Hull

Husband compensated after cancer sufferer died following fall from hospital trolley

Lauren Dale

Lauren Dale

Solicitor, Clinical Negligence

Husband compensated after cancer sufferer died following fall from hospital trolley

The husband of a cancer sufferer who died after falling from a hospital trolley after she was left alone for several hours has received a five-figure compensation payout.

The husband of a cancer sufferer who died after falling from a hospital trolley after she was left alone for several hours has received a five-figure compensation payout.

Grandmother of 19 Christine Carpenter battled ovarian and peritoneal cancer over a 15-year period before she was told treatment had been unsuccessful and it had spread, becoming terminal.

After respite at East Riding Community Hospital in Beverley, she was admitted to Hull Royal Infirmary’s accident and emergency department on October 29 last year, as she needed a drip fitting due to being dehydrated.

Mrs Carpenter, 61, then fell from her hospital trolley and suffered a hip fracture, which required surgery on November 1.

But she then contracted an infection, which led to septicaemia and caused her death on December 10.

Now, after representation from medical negligence specialists Hudgell Solicitors, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospitals, has admitted Mrs Carpenter’s care fell below the level she was reasonably entitled to expect.

The trust also admitted causing the fracture.

An inquest into her death earlier this year heard no isolation beds were available during her stay in A&E and nurse numbers on the night were also 25 per cent less than recommended levels.

Mrs Carpenter’s husband, Paul, 58, of Market Weighton, said: “I stayed at the hospital with her until 1am on the night she fell off the trolley and she fell asleep.

“I specifically asked three staff to keep an eye on her because she was dehydrated and disorientated.

“They told me not to worry but they didn’t take any notice. If they had kept an eye on her, she wouldn’t have fallen out of the bed.

“When you are in hospital, you expect a certain level of care and she was going through enough with her cancer anyway. She was so poorly.

“When she broke her hip, she was in tears with the pain. I had to watch her suffer and it was heart-wrenching. I didn’t want her to suffer any more.”

Mr Carpenter said his wife, who passed away at Dove House Hospice in east Hull, “lived for her family”, which includes seven children, as well as 19 grandchildren.

He said: “She loved her children and her grandchildren, and going to car boot sales. She was the head of the family.

“She has left a big hole in our lives. We were married for 32 years.

“My solicitor, Lauren Dale, has kept in constant contact and kept me up to date all the time, and it’s been quite quick going through.

“No amount of compensation can change what has happened but I’m coping the best I can.”

Assistant Solicitor Lauren Dale said she was pleased Hudgell Solicitors secured a swift and positive outcome for Mr Carpenter following the loss of his wife.

She said: “It was clear from the beginning there were failings.

“Mr Carpenter warned the medical staff his wife would be disorientated and this was not acted upon.  Mrs Carpenter should have had cot sides up on the trolley at the very least.

“It was obviously a poor level of care that was provided on that occasion.

“The case has been dealt with swiftly, with the hospital’s legal team taking a practical approach.

“This has helped by not causing any unnecessary added distress to Mrs Carpenter’s family.”

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