Vic probe after gran, 86, left with broken hip

Jean Bell, 86, fell and broke her hip, but her family says doctors diagnosed it as severe bruising and sent her home.
Jean Bell, 86, fell and broke her hip, but her family says doctors diagnosed it as severe bruising and sent her home.
Have your say

Hospital chiefs have launched an investigation after the family of an elderly woman with a broken hip claim she was sent home and left to fend for herself by doctors.

Blackpool Victoria Hospital is investigating how great grandmother Jean Bell, 86, was sent home with nothing but advice to rest after falling and breaking her hip on Tuesday.

It was 24 hours before doctors realised their mistaken diagnoses and called the pensioner back in, her family said.

Mrs Bell tripped over a wire at her flat on Redwood Close, South Shore, and was taken to hospital in severe pain.

After a check up and X-ray, doctors said she could go home, telling her she had only severe bruising.

She spent the afternoon and evening trying to get about her flat, which included walking up a set of stairs, cooking tea and getting ready for bed, before doctors called her the following day to tell her she had in fact broken her hip and needed an operation.

Her shocked granddaughter, Lisa Bell, said: “She could hardly walk and she was in absolute agony.

“She struggled around the flat to get herself fed and dressed clinging to the walls for support she was in that much pain.”

Miss Bell, 35, said the doctors checked the X-ray while her grandmother was in the emergency department, but told the family it would be checked on a bigger screen the following day.

It was Thursday morning when doctors phoned Mrs Bell to tell her she had broken her hip and shouldn’t have been moving on it.

Mrs Bell’s son John, of Tewkesbury Avenue, South Shore, said: “It’s annoying that they sent her home, telling her there was nothing wrong.

“When they phoned up to tell her she needed to go to hospital I told the doctors I could take her in because she was in so much pain, but they told me we shouldn’t move her and instead wait for an ambulance.

“She’s in good health to say she’s 87 this year, but to see her walking around in pain was horrible.

“It’s disgusting they didn’t keep her in.”

Mrs Bell has been admitted to the Vic, where she has had her operation and is recovering.

Miss Bell added: “I get that people make mistakes but they should have kept her in because of her age until the bigger X-ray had been looked at.

“We were really shocked when they say she could go home just because she’s quite old and it was a bad fall – they should have kept an eye on her.

“Instead they sent her home and told her to rest for a couple of days when moving it could have caused more damage.”

A spokesman for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are always sorry to hear of any concern from a patient.

“The Trust is unable to comment on the care of individual patients.

“An investigation has commenced into this matter.”