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Hospital ‘failed’ vulnerable patient

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

An investigation into the death of a 95-year-old woman who fell ill in hospital was ‘failed’ by her health trust. It was uncovered that Monica Bridle fell between her bed and the wall of her room at the University Hospital Southampton in 2013, but staff failed to inform her family. Following the incident, Mrs Bridle was discharged from hospital and returned to her nursing home, which hospital staff also failed to inform her family about.  The hospital said it had “unreservedly apologised” to Mrs Bridle’s family.

Mrs Bridle’s son had gone to visit her in hospital, only to discover that she was no longer there. Her daughter, Maureen Wylie, then went to visit her in her nursing home, but was “shaken and shocked” to find her with severe bruising across her face. Mrs Bridle died five days later.

“introduced an electronic system for reporting falls”

Julie Mellor, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, said that Mrs Bridle fell out of bed while one healthcare assistant was changing her bedding, despite standards stating that at least two members of staff should be involved in such a procedure. The hospital failed to record the injuries in her hospital paperwork.

The director of nursing at the hospital, Judy Gillow, said: “…we have introduced an electronic system for reporting falls and the implementation of much more stringent processes for communication with relatives.

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