Ms C, who suffers from dementia, was admitted to Northern General Hospital after injuring her right hip. X-rays showed that she had a displaced intrascapalar francture (fractured hip).
Hospital fall whilst wandering unsupervised
When she was admitted, Ms C’s friend advised hosptial staff that she had dementia. However, a few days later when he visited, he found Ms C being fitted with a collar and cuff. He was told that Ms C had been allowed to wander without supervision (despite an occupational therapist’s assessment saying she should use a zimmerframe and only under supervision) and had fallen, resulting in an injury to her shoulder.
Hospital breaches duty of care
Nikki contacted the hospital claiming negligence, breach of care, substandard care and breach of duty. She claimed that:
- Staff had not taken account of Ms C’s dementia and confused state and understanding of her environment at the hospital, thus putting her at risk of a fall.
- An adequate risk assessment, taking account Ms C’s hygiene needs, had not been completed and the risk assessment that had been completed was unrealistic, had not been reviewed on a regular basis and was not properly implemented.
- Staff had not informed Ms C’s next of kin about the fall, which was contrary to the hospital’s protocol.
- A medical report from an othorpaedic surgeon showed that the hospital had also failed to offer appropriate treatment for the fractured hip. (In fact Ms C was only offered reconstructive surgery for the fractured hip 1 year and 9 months after her fall).
Nikki negotiates higher compensation
The hospital admitted liability but did not initially make any reasonable offer. However, after extensive negotiations, Nikki was able to negotiate a settlement of £32,000, which was substantially more than had been indicated as acceptable by counsel, who suggested £20,000.
If you, or a member of your family have suffered due to substandard care at hospital, or due to the negligence of any medical practitioner, please contact our experts to discuss whether you can claim compensation.
You can read more about claiming compensation from a hospital for medical negligence on our web pages.