The Penningtons Manches clinical negligence team in Cambridge settled a claim against Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust for injuries suffered as a result of a failure to carry out appropriate risk assessments and monitoring of the 87 year old claimant while he received care for a urinary tract infection (UTI). The claimant consequently fell and suffered a bleed on the brain (subdural haematoma).
The claimant was living independently when he was admitted to hospital for treatment of a urinary tract infection and secondary sepsis. A manual handling assessment was undertaken noting that he was at high risk of falls, suffering with confusion, agitation and a tendency to wander. He had also suffered two previous falls within the preceding 12 months.
He remained an inpatient for further investigations for 10 days and no more risk assessments were carried out. It was determined that his confusion was caused by the UTI and a full recovery was unlikely.
During the early hours of the morning, nursing staff discovered the claimant on the bathroom floor, having suffered a fall and hitting his head on the wall as a result. An MRI scan revealed that he suffered a traumatic subarachnoid haemorrhage. It was also discovered that the claimant’s risk of falling had not been communicated to the night nursing staff and an appropriate care plan had not been put in place prior to the handover of care.
The claimant was discharged to a care home two months later where he remained for three months before being discharged home with carers attending four times a day. He continues to suffer with a haematoma in the subdural space.
Penningtons Manches was instructed by the claimant’s family in November 2015 to undertake an investigation. The defendant trust made a full admission of liability and the case was settled swiftly.
Emily Palmer, a member of the Penningtons Manches clinical negligence team who dealt with the claim, said: “This was a sad case involving a very vulnerable adult. I am pleased that we were able to agree a quick settlement to enable our client to receive the further care he needed to recover from his injuries.”