Hospital apologises over patient’s bed sores agony

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The Royal Blackburn Hospital has apologised to the family of an elderly man who suffered “enormous” bed sores following surgery.

Mr Edward Orrell (76), of Manchester Road, Hapton, was found to have two painful bed sores when he was transferred from the hospital to Palace House Care Home in Burnley, where he died on June 19th last year from bronchial pneumonia.

Mr Orrell had previously undergone major surgery at the Royal Preston Hospital to ease the painful symptoms of cervical spondylosis.

His family later raised concerns with the East Lancashire Coroner over the care he received in Blackburn.

Relatives were also unhappy that a “Do Not Attempt to Resuscitate” document had been left on his bedside table, for which the Trust apologised.

An inquest at Burnley Town Hall heard that Mr Orrell was admitted to Blackburn on April 9th after suffering falls and dizzy spells due to his painful neck condition. He was transferred to Preston where he underwent specialist neurosurgery, although this was not expected to cure the condition.

He returned to Blackburn on May 24th but his condition deteriorated.

Matron Mr Christopher Pickup told the inquest that notes on Mr Orrell’s scheme bundle, which monitor bed sores, were incomplete and that no action was taken, which Coroner Mr Richard Taylor said was “a mess.”

He added: “That should have raised several eyebrows. There must have been some visible evidence that should have been treated earlier.”

Mr Pickup said: “The Trust now operates a zero tolerance policy on pressure sores. Our process of skin evaluation and how we treat them has changed. Now, all skin damage is assessed by a sister or specialist nurse.”

Mr Taylor accepted the findings of pathologist Dr Stephen Mills that Mr Orrell’s death from pneumonia was not linked to pressure sores.

Recording a narrative conclusion, Mr Taylor said he was grateful for the Trust’s candour and that Mr Orrell had died from pneumonia due to being immobilised following surgery.

He said: “I am aware of concerns from Mr Orrell’s family and I sympathise with them, but have advised that some of their complaints are not for the inquest forum.”