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Fall victim’s family hit out at Southend Hospital after patient tragedy
11:40am Thursday 19th December 2013 in Echo News
A MAN whose mother was injured in a fall at Southend Hospital said promised changes to procedures were not put in place before another woman fell.
Gordon Jiggens, of Seaforth Grove, Southend, spoke out after an inquest on Jean Kouspetris, 80.
Mrs Kouspetris died in May 2011, after banging her head in a fall at the hospital as she struggled unaided to get to the toilet. Her calls to nurses on understaffed Blenheim Ward went unanswered.
At the inquest, it emerged Mrs Kouspetris suffered a number of falls while not being monitored by staff, even though she was supposed to get round-the-clock monitoring.
Coroner Caroline Beasley- Murray said they all might have contributed to her death.
The coroner recorded a narrative verdict.
Mr Jiggens said his late mother, Margaret Jiggens, survived a “horrendous’’ stay on the ward after being admitted in 2008. During seven weeks there, she fell and cut her head. She died in June, 2011, aged 86, of old age.
Her son said: “I was stunned at the similarities. My mother was put on to Blenheim because she kept passing out and falling.”
He said she complained nurses would not respond to her buzzing and when relatives visited, nurses stood talking while patients’ bells went unanswered.
He added: “On one occasion, we visited Mum, she was in bed, with blood all over her head. She was very distressed and there were stitches to a very large head wound.
I asked what happened and was told she had tried to get a nurse to help her go to the toilet by pressing the button, but no one came, so she got up and went herself and fell.”
Mrs Jiggens also contracted MRSA during her stay. Her family made a verbal complaint and at a meeting assurances were made.
Mr Jiggens said: “We were assured at the top level lessons were learned and it would not happen again. Then we read about Mrs Kouspetris. I wish we had taken them to court now, instead of believing they would deal with it.”
A trust spokesman said: “ “We are sorry to hear Mr Jiggens is unhappy with his mother’s care. We take patient safety extremely seriously and have reviewed our falls prevention processes, in line with national guidelines.
“Falls are the most commonly reported patient safety incident nationally. It is impossible to eliminate the total risk of falls.
“However, we have a falls prevention and management policy which identifies patients at risk and provides an appropriate care plan.’’
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