Hospital pay-out for bedsore death agony

PUBLISHED: 12:30 15 July 2011




A GRANDDAD from Weston died in agony after 'insufficiently trained' nurses at Weston General Hospital failed to treat severe bedsores on his body during a two-month stay.

The hospital has had to pay out a five-figure sum 
in compensation after Robert Collins, aged 65, 
developed the worst type of sores on his body, 
exposing bones and tendons.

He was still discharged from the hospital after less than seven weeks.

The former plasterer died four months later in ‘extreme pain’ at St Anthonys Court Care Home of liver disease, his family, who were not notified of the sores from the hospital, claim.

This week, the hospital trust agreed to pay the five-figure sum to his family in response to a medical negligence claims.

In a letter to Mr Collins’ son-in-law, David Ogborne, outgoing chief executive Lorene Read said: “The staff involved in your father-in-law’s care would like to apologise for any additional stress and anxiety this may have caused you and your family.

“He (Mr Collins) had not received sufficient 
assessment of his skin and there had not been 
sufficient consideration given to his increased risk of developing a pressure sore owing to his underlying medical conditions.

“There had been insufficient training of staff in the use of the appropriate assessment tools.”

She added the standard of nursing care for Mr 
Collins had not been good enough.

The money, however, has still not satisfied Mr Ogborne and his wife Jacqueline, who are chasing answers from the hospital. They have written to four senior managers at the trust, but have yet to receive an explanation as to why the staff were insufficiently trained.

Mr Ogborne, who is to distribute the money amongst Mr Collins’ six grandchildren and friends, said: “This is not about the money, this is about making the hospital take note of its appalling care of my father-in-law and for it to take action.

“We were disgusted the bedsores on his body were picked up by nurses so late and then not treated properly before he died.

“His death was excruciating for everyone, he did not deserve to die in such a way.”

Mr Collins, who lived in Locking Moor Road with his son, was a recovering alcoholic who was admitted to the hospital in December 15, 2008.

Suffering an infection, he was put on Kewstoke ward, then on December 28 nurses noticed his skin was broken and he was referred to the tissue viability nurse on January 5, 2009.

But the referral was not made until the sore reached the stage four grade and, even then, it took five days before he received the required treatment.

On January 30 he was discharged from the hospital and moved to the care home in Lower Bristol Road.

Following his death, the family made complaints about his care and a warning was issued to the hospital by the Care Quality Commission. The commission told the trust the prevalence of such sores on patients needed to be reduced last May.

A spokesman for Weston Area Health Trust said: “The trust does not comment on individual cases.

“The trust places great emphasis upon all aspects of patient care and carries out regular reviews to monitor quality and effectiveness.

“The trust would like to extend its condolences to Mr Collins’ family.”

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