Mrs Sheldon was admitted to Northern General Hospital following a stroke in December 2016. Staff at the hospital decided that she needed bed rails to ensure that she did not fall out of bed. Around a week later Mrs Sheldon was transferred to Royal Hallamshire Hospital for rehabilitation. She stayed there as an inpatient.
In April 2017 Mrs Sheldon lent onto the bedrail which collapsed, causing her to fall out of bed and break two fingers, bruise her left eye and loosen a front tooth to the extent that it pushed substantially into her cheek. When Mrs Sheldon’s family visited her the next morning, she was back in bed and the bedrail was in place. A family member tested the rail by putting light pressure onto it and it collapsed again at the centre pivot. They showed the broken bed rail to the ward manager who said that he wasn’t aware that it was broken. The family insisted that the bed was replaced so that the accident wouldn’t happen again.
Mrs Sheldon contacted Graysons to see if she had a medical negligence compensation claim, and Matthew took up her case. He contacted the hospital trust, requesting a copy of the faulty equipment report relating to the bed and its rails. Unfortunately, the trust was unable to supply this as it had either been misplaced or hadn’t been completed in the first place. Suggesting that the accident resulted as a breach of duty of care on the hospital’s part, Matthew obtained a nursing expert’s report, which said that the bed rails may have been faulty or may not have been locked in place properly by nursing staff. Matthew wrote to the hospital trust, advising it that he had been instructed to act on behalf of Mrs Sheldon in relation to alleged breach of duty. The hospital decided to negotiate the matter and Matthew was able to secure a settlement of £11,000.
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Author: Matthew Lindsay, medical negligence solicitor.