Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Family's anger at 'neglect' of mum at Ulster Hospital

Anne Peters with her broken wrist at the Ulster Hospital
Anne Peters with her broken wrist at the Ulster Hospital

The family of a terminally ill pensioner has claimed she was "neglected" during a 12-day stay at the Ulster Hospital.

Anne Peters (69), from Wales, who has a brain tumour, was on holiday in Downpatrick, Co Down, with her husband Ernest when she fell and hit her head on February 24.

An ambulance was called which went directly to the Ulster Hospital, where she was treated.

Her daughter Donna Peters flew over the next day and was told her mother – who due to the brain tumour suffers from bouts of confusion– had fallen off a commode while unattended in the hospital.

Donna (49) said she was initially told her mother was not injured by the second fall, but was later left "disgusted" after it was discovered she had a broken wrist. She also had to wait 29 hours for confirmation of the break and to be treated. Ms Peters claimed the arm was now permanently disfigured.

"The doctors have said they don't want to put her through breaking and resetting it," she said.

Ms Peters has now called on the South Eastern Trust to investigate her complaint.

Ms Peters said: "Don't get me wrong, whenever she was moved to another ward the nurses were absolutely fantastic. But in my eyes, if you have a patient like that with her condition and is obviously confused, she needed close observation."

She said despite being informed that her mother "was fine", by Thursday she knew there was something wrong with her arm.

"I demanded an X-ray. When I tried to change her pyjama top she screamed out in pain." An X-ray was carried out on Friday but the arm was not treated until that evening. Ms Peters claimed her mother's discharge letter stated she arrived with a broken wrist.

"If she did present it on the Monday morning why was it left to the Friday to be X-rayed? I believe she was neglected."

In March, the daughter of 98-year-old Mary Anne Hood claimed she was told by doctors at the Ulster her mother's back was broken despite being informed an X-ray was clear four days before.

A spokeswoman for the trust said it had received a letter of complaint from Mrs Peters' family and it was investigating it "thoroughly".

"As soon as the review is complete, we will contact the family with our findings," the spokeswoman said.

Further reading

English expert Liam Donaldson is called in over A&E failings  

Revamp of health service stuttering badly, emergency A&E summit told
 

Daughter hits out at trust over dad's death at Antrim Hospital

Grandfather lay on trolley at Royal Victoria Hospital A&E for seven hours covered in blood, says family
 

Warning Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital 'at breaking point' over bed delays  

Family of Ulster Hospital ordeal pensioner Mary Anne Hood demand full independent probe

I was told mum's X-ray was clear ... four days later I was told she had a broken back

We're bearing brunt of failing health system, insist nurses

Pensioner prayed for death amid horror of 'Third World' ward at Ulster Hospital

Can Northern Ireland learn from Cuba in how to care for the elderly? 

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