Patient died after hospital ward fall

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

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HOSPITAL bosses have been told lessons need to be learnt after a man slipped on the ward and later died.

An inquest heard how Gordon Peters, 86, of Harbour Avenue, Warton, was admitted to Blackpool Victoria Hospital with abdominal pain in June last year.

A mass was found in his bowel but he was not fit for treatment and was later admitted to Rossall Hospital Rehabilitation Unit.

Mr Peter’s daughter-in-law, Karen said: “After he was admitted to Rossall Hospital we were told he had suffered a fall.

“We believe he slipped over in his room, perhaps trying to reach for his slippers, and banged his head.

“When I saw him later that day he was in bed and very confused. It was not like him at all.

“Staff did check on him, but failed to recognise he had internal head injuries.”

The next day, on June 26, Mr Peters was transferred to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where he died.

Miss Peters added: “We want to know why he wasn’t transferred to Blackpool Victoria Hospital immediately following the fall – we feel he wasn’t given a chance.”

Blackpool Coroner Anne Hind (above) said staff at the hospital had carried out all vital checks on the patient following his accident.

She said: “It’s a sad fact of life people slip and fall, especially in hospitals.

“Mr Peters was taken for assessment, neurological observations were taken and everything was pretty much as staff anticipated it should be.

“A small graze was recorded but no other soft tissue injury was noted.

“We are talking about a day between his fall and his death, the symptoms did not manifest themselves for some time – I think everyone was shocked at how quickly he deteriorated.”

A post mortem revealed Mr Peters died of severe trauma to his head caused by the fall.

Dr Darius Golka, consultant pathologist at Blackpool Victoria Hospital said: “The severity may not have been apparent from his neuro symptoms, it is difficult to say what difference it would have made if he had received immediate surgery.”

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mrs Hind said: “We are not saying he was neglected but I will write to the hospital and say we are of the view – based on everything we have seen – if the severity of the injuries had been discovered and immediate action taken at least his chance of survival would have been enhanced.

“It is so sad for you, he sounded like a grand old chap.”