After being admitted to hospital following a fall, Ted developed a large pressure sore on his back. Healthcare professionals failed to treat it and the wound soon became infected. He died shortly afterwards.
Despite having suffered a number strokes, Ted was determined to live in his own home. All that changed however when his daughter dropped by one evening and found him lying on the floor. He had fallen over but had been unable to get up or call for help. Ted was taken to hospital by ambulance and treated for dehydration.
The hospital wanted to discharge him, but Ted’s daughter said it was too dangerous for him to live alone. A social care worker agreed that Ted needed to be cared for 24 hours a day. It was therefore decided that Ted should go into a care home. While the necessary arrangements were being made and funding put in place, he remained in hospital for five weeks.
When Ted was moved into a local care home, it soon became apparent to his daughter that the level of care was substandard. She only ever found her father in bed or in a wheelchair, despite the fact he had previously been mobile. The batteries in his hearing aids were never changed and his glasses went missing, meaning he was effectively blind and deaf.
A member of staff also told her that Ted had a terrible pressure sore on his left buttock – something which had not been present the day he went into hospital. Even though he was known to have pressure sores, the care home did little to treat the problem. Ted laid in his bed all day, unattended and was unable to get downstairs or call for assistance.
Without the necessary treatment, Ted’s pressure sores got so severe that he was readmitted to hospital. His daughter was told that Ted’s pressure sores had become infected, although it was only later that she learnt the wound was infected with necrotising fasciitis.
Despite having a life-threatening infection, Ted received a poor standard of care. He underwent extensive debridement of his wound but the infection soon spread to the blood and he died of multiple-organ failure, two weeks after having been admitted.
Ted’s daughter was horrified by the poor level of care he received, both from the hospital and the care home. If a better standard of care had been provided when Ted went into hospital the first time round, and by the care home, he would never have developed a pressure sore. At the very least the pressure sore would have been treated before it became infected and Ted would not have died. The standard of care provided when Ted was admitted to hospital once again was also appalling; the lack of treatment and poor standards of hygiene led to a painful, undignified death that could have been prevented.
We helped Ted’s daughter make a claim for the gross negligence her father encountered in the final months of his life. The case was settled for over £10,000.
(Details which might identify our client have changed.)