Man's fall in hospital delayed further medical treatment

Summary 454 |

When Mr L fell in hospital and fractured his hip, the Trust apologised but did not offer a financial remedy.

What happened

Mrs B's father, Mr L, went into hospital for bladder treatment. While in hospital, he fell out of bed and fractured his hip. He had an emergency hip replacement, which delayed the treatment he went into hospital for. He fell again after his hip operation but fortunately was not hurt. When the Trust discharged Mr L from hospital, it had still not treated the original problem and he needed another operation later that year.

Mrs B complained and the Trust apologised that her father had fallen. It accepted that staff had not taken Mr L's dementia into account when they assessed his risk of falling. The Trust told Mrs B that she would need to take legal action if she wanted compensation. She complained to us instead.

What we found

We could not say that Trust staff could have prevented Mr L's fall, even if they had carried out the proper assessments in line with national standards. However, we saw no evidence to reassure us that staff had assessed or mitigated his risk of falling. This delayed Mr L's treatment and caused him additional distress and discomfort.

Putting it right

The Trust paid Mr L compensation of £1,250.

Health or Parliamentary
Organisations we investigated

Barts Health NHS Trust


Greater London

Complainants' concerns ?

Not applicable


Compensation for non-financial loss