Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

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

Mary Anne Hood's back was originally given the all-clear

The daughter of hospitalised 98-year-old Mary Anne Hood has spoken of her "upset" after claiming doctors failed to spot her elderly mother had a broken back.

Mrs Hood was X-rayed on March 9 by doctors in the Ulster Hospital.

Her daughter Rosemary Craig (right) said she was informed it was "clear".

Four days later a consultant told Mrs Craig, a senior academic lawyer, that her mother's back was in fact broken.

The trust said it was reviewing the case but would not be sharing confidential patient information in the public arena.

The pensioner was originally admitted at 10.30am on March 1 to A&E at the Ulster Hospital suffering from pneumonia, kidney problems and severe back pain.

Mrs Craig said she was left "very upset" to think her mother had been lying in any pain with a fracture in her spine.

"Mum had fallen and had said that her back was sore and I was convinced she had injured her back," she said.

"She finally was given an X-ray on the Sunday and that was reported as 'clear' to me. I thought that was great news."

However, Mrs Craig claimed her mother went on to complain about experiencing back pain.

Mary-Anne Hood in the Ulster Hospital

On Wednesday, Mrs Hood was moved from Ward 15 to 22 (elder care).

On Thursday afternoon her daughter then met with consultants for an update on her mother's condition.

"We discussed mum's health in the past. We then came to her current health," she said.

"The consultant was most professional and assured me that my mum's back was, in layman's terms, 'broken'."

She added: "But I could not believe what I was hearing.

"I pointed out that it was now some four days after the X-ray that I was being informed clinically that her back was broken.

"Again, what I want to say is the staff were fantastic.

"There was just not enough of them.

"They were just run absolutely ragged. I know the staff were doing their best.

"I understand there is little they could do to fix it – but it was just the delay in knowing.

"She is my mother and I just want the best for her."

A spokeswoman for the trust said: "The trust will review this case and when we are clear about this aspect of the patient's care, we will share this with the patient and her relatives.

"The trust will not be sharing confidential patient information in the public arena.

"If the patient wishes to do so, that is their choice."

Further reading

Minister Edwin Poots meets pensioner Mary Anne Hood as trust answers criticism

Health Minister Edwin Poots urged to review care of elderly in hospital

Health trust must discover facts after pensioner prayed for death amid horror of 'Third World' ward at Ulster

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