A nursing home, a local council and a GP have each been ordered to pay compensation for the failure to act on a broken hip by the Local Government Ombudsman.
In February 2012, seventy-seven year old Monica O´Donnell fell at the Parkview House Nursing Home in Uxbridge and broke her hip. Staff at the care home failed to call a doctor immediately, and it was only when Monica complained of a pain in her right thigh and being unable to walk that medical help was sought.
However, when Monica´s GP attended her, he was only told of her symptoms and not that care home staff had found her unable to move on the floor. As Monica suffers from Alzheimer´s disease, she was unable to remember that she had fallen, and it was not until thirty-two days after her accident that she was admitted to Hillingdon Hospital where the broken hip was diagnosed.
Monica underwent a hip replacement operation but, because of her frail condition, she died six weeks later. Medical staff at Hillingdon Hospital raised a safeguarding alert, recommending that Hillingdon Council investigate the standard of care provided at the Parkview Nursing Home. However, due to the nursing home doctoring its records, the council´s investigation concluded that the nursing home acted appropriately.
Dissatisfied with this conclusion, Monica´s daughter – Angela Kelly – went to great lengths to find out why her mother´s care had been below standard. Angela approached NHS England, the Quality Care Commission, the council and her MP Sir John Randall before finally finding that the Local Government Ombudsman was willing to investigate her claim of nursing home neglect.
Following their investigation – in which the conflicting nursing home records were uncovered – the Local Government Ombudsman found the Parkview House Nursing Home in breach of its duty of care and ordered it to pay £1,000 compensation for the failure to act on a broken hip. The Ombudsman also found that the council´s investigation into the incident was inadequate and ordered it to pay Angela £500 compensation for the failure to act on a broken hip.
Finally, Monica´s GP – the Oakland Medical Centre in Uxbridge – was ordered to pay £750 compensation for the failure to act on a broken hip after it was found to have kept inadequate records and failing to be suspicious about the circumstance in which Monica acquired her injury. All three parties were also ordered to send Angela a written apology for the substandard care her mother had received at the nursing home.