82 year old suffers nursing home neglect that led to her death
A Staffordshire care home has paid £20,000 in damages to the family of an elderly resident who died after suffering negligent treatment.
Myfanwy Osborne, a retired infant teacher from Lichfield, was 82 years old when she was taken to Queen's Hospital, Burton-on-Trent, suffering from constipation which had developed while she had been resting awaiting an operation to correct a rapid heartbeat.
The advice of the hospital doctors was that she could be released back into the community to continue treatment under the care of her GP and NHS consultant.
Although Myfanwy had until then been living independently it was clear to her family that to properly remedy her condition she would need round-the-clock recuperative care and they looked for somewhere that could be provided. Myfanwy chose to be looked after at Beechfields Nursing Home in Lichfield as it was close to both the hospital and two of her cousins.
Myfanwy’s daughter, Susannah Marmot, who lives in London, became increasingly concerned on her weekly visits about the care her mother was receiving.
"All summer long, people were visiting her and were talking to me about some of their observations and I was also seeing her not herself on my weekly trips up to Lichfield. By September, a number of us were getting really quite concerned."
"At times she sounded very worried and fearful about calling the staff or expressing her thoughts."
"I started to get an impression that her care was often haphazard and brusque and noticed that she was being left for long periods of time without anyone checking on her."
"I would often be standing at the front door for some time, and it would be the residents coming to let me in, and on several occasions the staff did not know I was there."
Myfanwy's GP was called to visit by Beechfields and he raised the alarm on discovering that she had developed severe bed sores and had her rushed into hospital.
Doctors at the Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield made the horrific discovery that not only had Myfanwy got pressure sores but they had led to sepsis. The hospital demanded an investigation into Myfanwy’s two-month stay at the Beechfields home but it was too late to save her and three weeks later she died of blood poisoning.
An Adult Protection inquiry found that the care at Beechfields Nursing Home fell below the expected standard and that negligence had led to Myfanwy’s death. As a result of the inquiry, two Beechfields’ nurses have been discharged of their duties and reported to the Nursing Standards Agency.
During the statutory inquiry, Myfanwy’s daughter asked Thompson's Solicitors to conduct their own investigation and further evidence emerged.
Susannah said: "We jointly made the decision that Beechfields could provide the care my mother needed and of course when we did so we trusted that they were experts and knew what to do. It grieves me to think how much pain and distress she must have suffered."
"I cannot thank the staff of the Good Hope Hospital and Thompsons enough for the support they have given us throughout."
Over a hundred mourners attended Myfanwy's funeral at Gentleshaw Church, near Beaudesert where she was born.
"In health, she was a stylish and entertaining lady, but the neglect sapped her and meant she was made to feel completely alone. We are all devastated that this was how she spent her final days and want to make sure this never happens to another family. "
Rosalynro Steeple, clinical negligence solicitor at Thompsons said: “Care homes have a duty to look after their residents and what happened to Myfanwy was completely unacceptable.
“Staff should have been properly trained and known that bed sores needed flagging to medical professionals immediately after they developed. It is clear that the systemic negligence was so horrific that her condition was not even noticed, let alone dealt with, and that this caused the death of our client’s mother.
“A Care Quality Commission Report as recent as January 2016 illustrates that Beechfields Nursing Home safety standards still require further improvement.”
Concerned about negligent medical treatment or diagnoses? Talk to us for advice and support today.
Our discreet and compassionate medical negligence solicitors are experienced in the full range of medical injury claims and will work with you to establish whether you have a medical negligence compensation claim.
If you, or a loved one, think you have suffered medical negligence, such as a birth injury (for example, a cerebral palsy diagnosis following a difficult birth), misdiagnosis (such as cancer misdiagnosis), or suffered negligence during an operation contact us for advice.
If the incident happened more than three years ago, you will usually not be able to make a claim for compensation. However, exceptions do apply – such as instances where you could not have reasonably known your symptoms were caused by clinical negligence, or cases involves adults who lack legal capacity or children – so contact us for advice.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.