Eileen Cliggett was admitted to Llandough Hospital in Cardiff for a hysterectomy following cancer in June 2011. She remained in hospital two weeks, during the first of which she was mainly confined to her bed as a result of an epidural anaesthetic. A risk assessment was carried out but the appropriate steps to prevent bedsores were not taken.

Photographs taken four days before Mrs Cliggett’s discharge clearly showed the severe pressure sore which the hospital classed as grade two. But in spite of this the hospital failed to supply specialist equipment to provide relief from the pressure sore.

Mrs Cliggett was readmitted to hospital a month later when the pressure sore became infected. She died just a few days later on 17 August 2011. The official cause of death was recorded as a pressure sore.

The Cardiff and Vale University Health Board admitted that substandard care led to the pressure sore developing. Health chiefs have now apologised to Mrs Cliggett’s family.

Pressure Sores

Pressure sores, or bedsores as they are also known, develop as a result of prolonged pressure on normally bony prominences such as the sacrum or the hips.

Pressure sores are graded from one to four, with four being the most serious.

Madeleine Pinschof, a solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors’ Clinical Negligence Unit said: “Llandough Hospital could easily have prevented the pressure sore developing by providing Mrs Cliggett with a special mattress and turning her regularly. This substandard care caused her to suffer terribly and ultimately resulted in her death which is unacceptable and negligent.”