89-year-old woman dies one year after falling out of nursing home bed

6th March 2019

A woman with a phobia of falling out of bed died after her carers failed to put her bed rail up and she was found on the floor during the night.

Vera Predeth, aged 89, was referred to Sundridge Developments, trading as Edenvale Nursing Home, Hampshire in September 2017 to improve her mobility and confidence following a hospital stay.

A bed rails assessment was carried out which confirmed that Vera had impaired mobility and a fear of falling out of bed whilst she was asleep. Due to this fear, she specifically requested for her bed rails to be up.

It was identified that Vera was to have her bed rails up due to her being at risk of a fall. At the beginning of October she was found on the floor, lying on her stomach having fallen out of bed. Her bed rails had not been put up.

An ambulance was called and Vera was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital. It was identified that she had suffered a minor head injury and was admitted to hospital for management and pain control. A few days later she was diagnosed with an intra-capsular neck of femur fracture. It was considered that she didn’t need surgical treatment and that she should be managed conservatively.

Vera was discharged from hospital at the beginning of November 2017 and then went to live with her daughter who cared for her.

Sadly, Vera died just 11 months later. Prior to the incident, Vera was mobile with a zimmer frame and used a wheelchair for longer distances. Following her fracture, she was bed bound and required 24 hour care and never regained her previous level of cognition.

If it hadn’t been for the negligent treatment which resulted in her fall out of bed, Vera would have returned to her previous mobility levels and she would not have required the level of care that she did and her cognitive levels would not have deteriorated as they did.

Following the incident, Vera contacted Fletchers Solicitors to take on a claim for negligence against Sundridge Developments Ltd. As she passed away midway through the claim, her daughter took over the case, having assisted her mother throughout the litigation process already. She was awarded £40,000 by Sundridge Developments following the negligent treatment.

Hannah Ashcroft is the medical negligence solicitor who dealt with her case.

She said: “The past 12 to 18 months have been very difficult for Vera and her family following the injuries Vera sustained. Her daughter, Jane, and the family had to make life changing adjustments to care for Vera following her injury and decline in cognitive condition. The loss of Vera prior to the conclusion of her claim was very difficult for everybody but we are pleased to have brought the claim to a successful conclusion in justice for Vera and whilst money will not change what happened, we hope the compensation will bring some comfort to Jane and her family. We wish Jane the very best for a happy future.”

Speaking about her dealings with Fletchers, Jane Farrell, said: “It was an absolutely fantastic experience throughout. From the start to finish I was treated with respect compassion and a first class service and I would not hesitate in using again or recommending to others. Hannah Ashcroft in particular is a credit to the team.”

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