A son has expressed his anger and frustration after his 92-year-old mother died having endured six months of pain and suffering following a fall in Luton and Dunstable Hospital.
Mrs Joan Mabel Holland, a grandmother of four, spent more than six weeks in the hospital after a suspected fall at home. During her time in Luton and Dunstable Hospital she suffered a spinal injury due to falling from a commode.
However, several attempts were made by nursing staff to mobilise Mrs Holland before the spinal injury was discovered via an MRI scan.
Mrs Holland was discharged to a care home where she developed pressure sores and suffered a fractured humerus. She was later transferred to another care home where she died in April 2012.
Her son, Barry, took legal action against Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust which denied liability but agreed a settlement in a clinical negligence claim brought by Lincoln-based Langleys Solicitors on Mr Holland’s behalf.
Mr Holland, 65, a former logistics and facilities manager, said: “The way my mother was treated was terrible and it should never have happened. She didn’t deserve to be treated like that and I hope that this never happens to anyone else. I wanted someone at the hospital to hold their hands up and say sorry but that hasn’t happened. It’s just so wrong and I and my wife Diane feel very angry and let down by the hospital.”
Expert evidence in the case showed that, on the balance of probabilities, Mrs Holland’s life expectancy would have been a further three years but for the negligent treatment.
Mr Holland added: “Had that been the case, my mother would have met and enjoyed time with her first great grandchild.”
Helen Rundle, of the medical law team at Langleys Solicitors, said: “The settlement takes account of the injuries Mrs Holland sustained and the pain and suffering she endured in the last six months of her life. During this time she suffered with a lack of mobility, lack of independence, double incontinence, associated psychological harm and pressure sores requiring larvae treatment.”
Mrs Holland had lived in sheltered accommodation and was largely independent with carers visiting her three times a day. She was admitted to Luton and Dunstable Hospital on 26 October 2011 after a suspected fall at home.
Two days later, Mrs Holland suffered a spinal injury due to a fall from a commode while in hospital. Her injuries were not diagnosed until 2 November 2011 during which time attempts were made to mobilise Mrs Holland.
On 12 December 2011, Mrs Holland was discharged to a care home where she developed pressure sores and suffered a fractured humerus. She was later transferred to another care home where she received larvae treatment for her pressure sores which had become infected. She died on 21 April 2012, aged 92.
Mrs Holland was a former munitions factory worker during the Second World War and later worked at the well-known ERG components factory in Dunstable before owning a greengrocers for a number of years. Mrs Holland was married to Lawrence for almost 50 years when he died in 1990.