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Apology to family from hospital

20 January 10 12:09 GMT

A hospital in Kent has apologised to a family whose mother suffered bed sores in the hospital before she died.

Joan Street, 87, died after staying at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford for a routine hip operation, but developed bed sores in her lower back.

The family alleged they were not checked or treated for three days and contributed, in part, to her death.

The hospital said it apologised to Mrs Street's family for shortcomings in the management of her treatment.

At an inquest into Mrs Street's death, held on 14 January, the coroner said Mrs Street was recorded as being at high risk of pressure sores, but that the subsequent recording of the sores and pain management by the hospital was incomplete.

The inquest heard that following surgery on 30 December 2008, broken skin was first recorded by staff on 6 January, and a pressure relieving mattress was first used on 11 January.

A tissue specialist was made aware of the sore on 27 January and visited Mrs Street the next day, although did not see the sores as Mrs Street was sleeping.

Evidence was given at the inquest by nursing staff and a surgeon, who said Mrs Street's pain had not been well managed.

In the verdict the Coroner said: "The paperwork involving pressure sore assessment and management is incomplete.

"It is not entirely clear, owing to incomplete records and lack of adherence to Trust policy, when the pressure sore developed or how it was managed."

Sally Moore, Deputy Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Quality for East Kent University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "The Trust would like to apologise to Mrs Street's family for shortcomings in our management of her treatment.

"While our staff are confident that they treated Mrs Street appropriately, the written documentation surrounding the care of her pressure sore was not adequate."

Mrs Street spent nine weeks in hospital before she died on 1 March 2009.

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