Care home sorry over OAP fall failings

Smalley Hall nursing home
Smalley Hall nursing home

An apology issued by a care home is ‘too little, too late’, according to the daughter of a woman who suffered a fractured femur in a fall there.

Arlene Fowkes says she is considering legal action against Smalley Hall Care Home over her mum Winifred Ryder’s care.

Mrs Ryder, 95, fractured her femur and suffered a head injury on the night of February 23, 2013.

She died in October last year at the Victoria Park Nursing Home where she had been moved after complications following an operation at hospital to re-set her leg.

After a full investigation by social services and police, one member of staff was dismissed and three others at Smalley Hall received disciplinary warnings.

But Mrs Fowkes says she is still angry.

She claimed: “In my mind there is no doubt that what happened that night contributed to mum’s death.

“I think that if the correct procedures had been followed and the care plan that was in place stuck to, then she wouldn’t have died when she did and she wouldn’t have had to suffer in the way that she did.

“It was bad enough that the falls happened but what we have suffered is unforgiveable.”

For months after the incident Mrs Fowkes claims she tried unsuccessfully to discover what had led to her mum, who was of sound mind and good health apart from arthritis, being injured.

She claims it was only when she forced her way into a meeting between care home officials and social services that she was told.

She said: “I looked at the care home manager and I was sobbing, pleading with her to tell me what had happened.

“No-one would tell me what had happened to her.

“Eventually she said to me that my mum had fallen twice that night.”

After demanding answers Mrs Fowkes claims she found out that her mother was not lifted using a hoist as her care plan instructed and was instead left to stand using a walking aid and a rail which she was unable to grip due to serious arthritis.

She fell once, hitting her head on the walking frame and when staff lifted her back to her feet she fell again, which is when Mrs Fowkes believes the femur was fractured.

It is claimed the falls happened at 7pm but an ambulance was not called until 3am.

She alleged: “Those carers knew exactly what had happened.

“They should have called 999 the second she fell.”

Arlene’s husband Stephen has also heavily criticised the way things were handled, and claimed: “The bottom line is that we believe that if Winnie hadn’t fallen that night she wouldn’t have needed the operation, she wouldn’t have spent all that time in hospital and she wouldn’t have died in the way that she did and that’s what makes this all so hard to accept.”