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Care issues raised as OAP dies after three falls in hospital

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 10, 2014

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A WOMAN whose elderly father died after falling three times in Queen’s Hospital has slammed the site for the poor treatment she believes her father received.

John Smith fell three times after being admitted to the hospital last November, breaking his hip on the final occasion. He got out of bed because nobody responded to his call for help to go to the toilet, his daughter, Melanie Stuart, has claimed.

Changes have since been introduced on ward 20, where the last fall happened, in a bid to make sure it does not happen again, but Mr Smith’s daughter Melanie said it was not good enough.

“I’m disappointed in the care he got at Burton Hospital. He was very confused and acting completely out of character.

“He wasn’t given the treatment he needed and it’s worrying for the care of the elderly,” she told the Mail following an inquest into her father’s death.

Mr Smith, 86, was admitted to hospital from his home at The Wickets, in Stapenhill, after his carers were unable to rouse him.

He was admitted to ward six at the hospital with a urinary tract infection and confusion. He fell twice on the ward.

Days later, he was moved to ward 20, as there was a demand for beds – something which may have caused him more confusion.

Sue Buglione, senior sister for ward 20, said: “One of the nurses questioned whether he was suitable for a move, but we were assured he had been considered the best option.

“At about midnight he was found on the floor in a corridor. He said he needed the toilet and that was why he had got out of bed.”

She said he did not press the bell, and that he had been told to use a bottle if he needed the toilet, but Mrs Stuart said he had called for a nurse, and had not been given a bottle.

Mrs Buglione led an internal investigation after the fall, and changes had been made, she told the inquest.

South Staffordshire Coroner Andrew Haigh recorded a verdict of fall in hospital at the conclusion of the inquiry. He added: “Some concerns have been rightly flagged up, and corrections made. People in hospital are liable to fall and steps are made to prevent that.”

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