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Poor care home care causes woman’s death just months after admission

An elderly woman, forced into a failing care home against her husband’s wishes, died of multiple organ failure less than three months later due to the poor care home care provided as staff neglected to monitor her daily.

Admitted to the local authority managed residence, which was due for closure, the elderly woman was only moved to the care home on a temporary basis while her preferred residence was being built. Her husband opposed the admission based on reviews stating poor care at the care home however, the local authority ignored his express wishes not to place his wife there.

Suffering from a number of complex psychological issues, the woman’s care plan specified that the staff should ask her on a daily basis whether she had been to the toilet as she also had constipation which was being treated with daily medication.

Complaining of persistent abdominal pain just six weeks after being admitted to the home, the woman was taken to hospital a day later under the care of the surgical team who found that she had a perforated colon caused by severe constipation.

Her condition deteriorated and she went on to develop pneumonia and placed on short term ventilation. Single organ failure in her chest was followed by her ultimate death which was recorded as having been caused by a number of factors including multiple organ failure, pneumonia and rectal perforation.

Allegations of poor care at the care home confirmed

An independent review and legal action, taken against the care home by her husband, followed with the findings supporting his allegations that poor care home care had caused her death.

The staff were found to have failed on a number of counts in the levels of care provided to her which included:

• Neglecting to make sure that her prescribed daily constipation medication was taken and not understanding their duty and responsibility of care to a vulnerable adult

• Not recognising clear signs that there was a problem with her bowel which was causing increasing pain and distress

• The qualified nurses did not recognise a change in her behaviour as she had gone into shock shortly before being admitted into hospital as her condition developed into an infection

• She was not provided with the necessary one to one care needed including the adequate monitoring of her bowel movements

• Just six weeks following her admission, and her condition having worsened due to poor care home care, the staff were found to have been slow in calling for an ambulance

Sadly, our client lost his wife despite strongly stating that he did not want her taken to that particular care home. Both his request, and her arguably straightforward care needs, were ignored and she unnecessarily lost both her dignity and her life.

Linder Myers’ medical negligence team secured a five figure settlement and answers for her husband. No amount of money would bring his wife back, but the settlement provided some peace of mind by covering her funeral expenses and confirming that poor care home care was to blame for her death.

To read a wealth of information relating to care homes ranging from an explanation to the UK’s health and care system, to a step-by-step guide to considering the right care home, click here.

If you, or a relative, has significantly suffered as a result of poor care home care, Linder Myers’ highly regarded team of medical negligence specialists are here to provide sympathetic advice. Contact a member of our team on 0800 085 3295 for an initial free discussion.

Alternatively, please email a summary of your potential claim and contact details to clinnegenquiries@lindermyers.co.uk.

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