Falls in Hospital and Subsequent Hip Fracture: Five Figure Compensation Awarded

Summary

Clinical Negligence claim following numerous falls whilst an inpatient at Mid & South Essex NHS Foundation Trust resulting in an avoidable hip fracture and further injury and damage to the hip repair.

Settlement

£24,500 for the Representatives of the Estate of the deceased.

What Happened

The Deceased presented to casualty on 07.11.2015 with a significant ankle fracture. She was admitted and treated conservatively. Owing to a decrease in balance and cognition, the physiotherapist expressed concerns at her compliance with the non-weight bearing regime that she should have followed.

On 26.11.2015 the Deceased fell on the ward and sustained a fractured left neck of femur (hip fracture) which was treated with a left cemented hip hemi arthroplasty.

The Deceased suffered a further fall on 14.12.2015 and again on 06.01.2016.  An exploration of her dislocated left arthroplasty was undertaken and it was found that there was a loosening of the femoral component.  A girdlestone excision arthroplasty was performed, during which significant oedema and musculature damage was noted.

The Deceased’s symptoms and mobility continued to deteriorate.  In addition, by early 2016, there was an increasing awareness that she was lacking mental capacity.

By 13.04.2016 it was deemed that she had reached the end-stage of her dementia and that palliative care was appropriate. The Deceased died on 23 May 2016 from non-negligent related issues.

Owing to the number of falls it was necessary to dissect each incident to determine how it was able to occur, whether any injuries were sustained and if so what injury was attributable to what fall, and whether the falls occurred as a result of negligence or whether they would be non-negligent.

It was necessary to show that the measures in place at the time were insufficient, and that a proper multifactorial assessment upon admission would have resulted in either 1:1 supervision or some other measure that would be likely to have prevented the falls and that routine falls assessments pre and post initial fall would have identified suitable safety measures to reduce or eliminate the risks the deceased was exposed to.

Nursing Expert Evidence was obtained to address the issues of breach of duty and causation which was supportive of the claim.

A Letter of Claim was sent to the Defendant following supportive evidence however the Trust denied the claim and continued to do so during the course of the claim.

A Condition and Prognosis Report was obtained from a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon to assist in establishing the nature and extent of the injuries and in preparation for issuing Court Proceedings.  Again, the Report was supportive of the claim and as such the Claim was issued into Court on 28.10.2021.

Owing to the fact that the patient had died, Devonshires Claims needed to present a copy of the Grant of Probate (Letters of Administration) to demonstrate the Representatives Locus Standi (legal standing) to bring the claim.

The matter was transferred to the County Court of Central London and, following the Defendant’s Defence and Claimant’s Reply to the Defence, a Costs and Case Management Hearing was listed for 28.10.2022.

Settlement negotiations commenced, despite limited admissions and an overall ongoing denial of liability.

The claim was an extremely sensitive and emotional one for the representative of the estate of the deceased, and his son and no amount of money could compensate them for their loss. Having carefully managed his expectations and heeding his desired outcomes Devonshires Claims was able to obtain some admissions to failings in the care provided to the deceased and secured a sum of damages amounting to £24,500 (in respect of Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity plus past, out of pocket expenses).

 

Devonshires Claims’ solicitors have over 20 years’ experience in supporting patients with hospital negligence claims. We work hard to secure patients the justice and compensation they deserve. We provide a free case evaluation and a No Win – No Fee’ agreement. This means that you will not be charged any upfront legal costs in order to start your compensation claim and if your claim is not successful, you will not incur any costs*.

Contact us today on 0333 900 8787, email admin@devonshiresclaims.co.uk or complete our online form.

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