Family consider legal action after fatal fall

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THE family of a 96-year-old woman who died after falling from a chair in hospital have criticised the level of care she received.

Madeline Willbond, who lived at Wood Grange Care Home in Westminster Lane, Bourne, died at Peterborough City Hospital after suffering a haemorrhage caused by a head injury on March 14.

An inquest held at Peterborough Town Hall heard how Mrs Willbond had been taken to hospital from the care home because she was suffering from chest pains.

Mrs Willbond, who suffered from dementia, had a history of falls and was placed in a chair in a four-bed hospital ward while she awaited treatment.

However, the inquest heard that Mrs Willbond slipped from the chair and banged her head on the floor causing the injury which led to the fatal haemorrhage.

Coroner Gordon Ryall recorded a narrative verdict for her death and said the issue of patients suffering falls in hospitals was a problem which needed to be addressed.

Speaking after the inquest, Mrs Willbond’s son Tim said: “I don’t know whether we will take the matter any further legally. We are still discussing the situation with our QCs.

“We feel that our mother should have been given more care while she was in hospital and fuller risk assessments should have been carried out.

“We also feel that the decision to put my mother in a chair was wrong. Had she been in a bed this may not have happened.”

Speaking at the inquest, Debbi Scotting, a risk adviser for Peterborough City Hospital, said: “Mrs Willbond suffered from deep vein thrombosis and putting her in a bed could have made her condition even worse.

“It was considered safe for Mrs Willbond to be left in a chair and the decision was taken.”

Ms Scotting said that since Mrs Willbond’s death the hospital had undertaken new measures to ensure patients are checked every hour.