New measures at Hinchingbrooke Hospital after elderly woman dies after fall

12:00 18 February 2013

Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Archant

STAFF at Hinchingbrooke Hospital have introduced new measures after an elderly woman died following a fall.

Beryl Splevings was being treated in the hospital last June for a possible infection that left her unsteady on her feet when she fell from a commode, hitting her head.

The 88-year-old, of Broad Leas, St Ives, was conscious and talking and was taken back to her bed but staff missed some hourly neurological observations, an inquest was told.

Mrs Splevings’ condition deteriorated and she died later that day.

A port mortem examination showed that Mrs Splevings died from bleeding caused by a head injury suffered in the fall.

Deputy coroner Doctor Sam Bass recorded a verdict of accidental death on Monday (February 11) after saying that there seemed to have been some small lapses in her treatment.

A spokesman for Circle, which runs the hospital, said: “We offer our sincere apologies and heartfelt condolences to the Splevings family.

“Following an investigation Circle said it has employed a consultant orthogeriatrician – a specialist in falls prevention and management – introduced a new group to implement actions to reduce falls and is implementing recommendations for hospitals from the Royal College of Physicians.

The spokesman said that patients are checked every two hours to ensure their needs are met and they are comfortable and the hospital has a range of equipment to prevent falls as well as technology to alert staff.

She added: “Although we have had success in reducing the number and severity of falls, we view every patient fall as one too many and constantly challenge ourselves to do more to prevent falls.

“Where older people have fallen a new pathway has been agreed in radiology to get scans of patients at risk of head injury. This pathway is above and beyond that required by the NICE guidance used by other trusts.”xx

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