Great Barton/Bury St Edmunds: Family raise concerns over level of care grandmother received in hospital

Family raise concerns over level of care grandmother received in hospital

THE FAMILY of a grandmother who died in hospital following surgery will always be “haunted by the fear” failures in care contributed to her death, their lawyer has said.

Relatives of Lilian Sallis, 65, of Conyers Way, Great Barton, described her death on June 12 last year as “totally unexpected and shattering” in reports which were read out at her inquest in Bury St Edmunds yesterday.

The grandmother, who was married to Arthur, attended West Suffolk Hospital in Bury on June 7 last year after suffering a fall at home the previous day in which it turned out she had fractured her left hip and wrist.

As she recovered following hip replacement surgery and repair work to her wrist, her family had commented on how well she looked and anticipated she would return home earlier than predicted, but four days after the surgery she passed away.

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The cause of death was given as a pulmonary thromboembolism connected to deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

The inquest heard how Mrs Sallis should have been given ‘Ted’ stockings [compression stockings] to reduce the risk of DVT until she regained normal activities, but there were question marks over whether these had been used.

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The family did not recall seeing the stockings on their daily visits, but orthopedic surgeon Dr Samuel Parsons said he “very clearly” remembered seeing the stockings on the morning of the day she died.

Adequate hydration is another factor in reducing the risk of DVT, but Mrs Sallis’s family had concerns that she was not getting enough fluids.

Trefine Maynard, the lawyer representing the family, said there were fluid charts which had not been completely filled out and added how the family had had worries over how freely Mrs Sallis could access drinks due to her wrist.

Dr Parsons said she was given intravenous drips, adding how once patients can take fluids themselves the documentation is just stopped.

The inquest also heard claims from the family that Mrs Sallis was not being adequately attended to by nursing staff when she needed to go to the toilet, which ward manager Simon Taylor apologised for.

Assistant deputy coroner Yvonne Blake recorded a narrative verdict.

After the inquest, Miss Maynard said: “Where this leaves the family of course is feeling there were failures in the care they would have hoped she would have received in hospital.”

She added: “And they will always be haunted by the fear these failures made a difference.”

Mr Sallis said his wife was a very caring person and he wished she had been given the same level of care by the hospital.

A spokesman for West Suffolk Hospital said: “We would like to take this opportunity to pass our condolences on to Mrs Sallis’s family.

“Reducing incidents of VTE (venous thromboembolism) is one of our priorities and we have fully implemented the best practice guidance as laid down by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) in 2010.”

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