Settlement reached for failure of duty of care

Posted by Gemma Osgood on

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Mr C was an elderly gentleman who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.  He started palliative chemotherapy and 5 months later was admitted to hospital due to acute confusion and agitation. 

On admission to the ward Mr C was noted by nurses to be walking independently but that he needed to be watched at all times as he was at risk of falling. Despite this a falls risk assessment and care plan was not completed.

Two days later, and in the early hours of the morning, Mr C was found on the floor.  He was assessed by a doctor and lifted into bed by a hoist as he was unable to move. No further action was taken until his family alerted staff later that day that he was in pain.  Mr C's family were concerned that he was also unable to walk due to the pain.

A doctor was called to assess Mr C and an x-ray was requested.  The x-ray showed that Mr C had fractured his femur.  This diagnosis was some 15 hours after his fall.  The next day Mr C had surgery to pin his fractured hip. He never fully recovered and although he was discharged home from hospital, he sadly died a month later. Although we could not claim for his eventual death as he had a terminal condition, we were able to claim for the additional pain and suffering as a result of the fractured femur, and associated surgery.

Mr C's daughter contacted BL Claims Solicitors as specialist clinical negligence solicitors. We alleged that the hospital had failed in their duty of care by not completing a falls risk assessment and care plan.  Had the falls risk assessment and care plan been completed Mr C would not have fallen and fractured his femur.  The Trust admitted liability and offered an apology to Mr C's family.  Mr C's wife accepted £12,000 as full and final settlement of her husband's claim.

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About the Author

Gemma is a Senior Associate in our Clinical Negligence team with extensive experience in all areas of medical negligence claims.

Gemma Osgood
Email Gemma
023 8085 7248

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