Staff told to lie about 84-year-old womans wheelchair fall

Staff told to lie about 84-year-old womans wheelchair fall

A nursing home manager told staff to make false statements after an 84-year-old woman died two months after falling from her wheelchair and fracturing her hip, an inquest has heard.

Shirley Froggett died from pneumonia after an operation on the hip following the fall at New Lodge Nursing Home in Mickleover, Derby, in September 2018.

Her family was initially told she was strapped in when the fall happened.

But the home has now accepted this was not the case.

Derby Coroner’s Court heard Mrs Froggett had dementia and previously suffered a stroke.

After the unwitnessed fall, staff found the buckle on the wheelchair strap was broken.

Nakeba Akhtar, a former care worker at the home, told the inquest she had panicked and turned to the home’s manager Lindsey Foster.

Ms Akhtar said Mrs Foster told her: “It’s OK, it will all blow over. Just put down in the statement that we did put the seat belt on.”

“I wrote it and later on I felt bad about it and that we should tell the truth,” she said. “I felt really awful.”

Prebina Thapa, a second former care worker at the home, also said she had been instructed by Mrs Foster to make a false statement.

She added she was told to look for another buckle to put on the wheelchair.

Mrs Froggett’s daughter-in-law Elaine Froggett told the court she had visited the home after the fall and “knew something was wrong”.

“There was a carer feeding Shirley and I asked her to stop. Every few seconds she was calling out for a nurse,” she said.

She said she asked Mrs Foster if her mother-in-law could have broken a bone, but was told no.

Chris Green, of the home, said staff members came forward to say Mrs Froggett had been strapped in.

“That information was not correct,” he told the court.

Dr Ian Hunter, coroner for Derby and South Derbyshire, was told the cause of death was pneumonia, secondary to a hip fracture.

Pathologist Dr Joanna Rutledge said in her opinion, Mrs Froggett would not have developed pneumonia but for the fall.

The fracture was not initially picked up at the Royal Derby Hospital’s accident and emergency department, the inquest heard.

Dr Muhammad Yusuf said in a statement he offered his “humble apologies” to the family and had changed his procedures to include a head-to-toe examination of patients.

Dr Robert Shaw, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital, told the inquest medical staff considered an operation on Mrs Froggett as high risk.

He said the operation could not have gone ahead earlier, even if the fracture had been picked up in accident and emergency, due to medication Mrs Froggett was taking.

After surgery, Mrs Froggett became gravely ill and the prognosis was very bleak, he said.

Mrs Froggett developed a chest infection and a decision was made to cease active treatment and discharge her.

The inquest continues.

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