Falls and mobility – failure to appropriately assess level of risk

In 2018, Mr X was admitted to hospital experiencing confusion and an increase in urine frequency. Upon admission, he was admitted to the Medical Assessment Unit, where he was diagnosed with Urosepsis. He was reported to be confused but stable.

An Initial Risk Assessment was performed including the Falls and Mobility Assessment V2, which determined his falls and mobility risk level to be “medium risk”. A Falls Care Plan was not completed at this time.

Later the same day, Mr X was noted to be increasingly confused and had a number of incidents of incontinence whilst trying to go to the toilet.

The following morning, he was found to have an increased temperature however, remained alert but confused. He requested assistance from the nurse to use the commode, however, rather than assisting Mr X onto the commode, the nurse helped him to sit on the edge of the bed. When moving to the commode, Mr X fell, sustaining an injury to his head and arm.

Mr X sustained a fracture to his left humerus and left olecranon. He experienced pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

On admission, Mr X was noted to be unsteady on his feet, increasingly confused, had a high temperature and was suffering from hypotension and urinary frequency. Later the medical records described that his clinical condition had changed and he was increasingly confused, restless and occasionally incontinent.

The allegations were that Mr X should have been assessed for the risk of falling when his condition worsened. In addition, he should have been assisted from his bed onto the commode in order to provide the necessary support and supervision he needed. This would have minimised the risk of him falling and should have avoided the injury he sustained.

The Defendant admitted liability, negotiations commenced and a financial settlement was reached.

If you have experienced a situation that is similar to our client’s, contact a member of the Price Slater Gawne specialist negligence team today to discuss how we might help you: 0161 615 5554 | email info@psg-law.co.uk.