Dementia sufferer’s broken hip was left undiagnosed

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An elderly lady whose broken hip was left undiagnosed for a month was clearly in agony and let down by the system, says her distressed daughter.

Vera Butcher was living at Palm Court Nursing Home when she suffered a fall in the middle of June. It was not known at that time that the 95-year-old, who suffers from dementia, had broken her hip and it was a whole month later, when she was admitted to Eastbourne DGH, that the discovery was made.

Jane Butcher, Vera’s daughter, is critical of the care her mother has received and says her concerns about her mother’s ‘desperate state’ were not looked in to.

Jane said, “My mother was in a desperate state because people didn’t believe me – her only daughter who has grown up and known her all my life.

“I knew she was in real pain.

“As it is, she has been back and forth, had three x-rays and all that stress.

“Plus she endured a month of pain of a broken hip while being moved and washed and changed in the home which calls itself ‘expert in dementia care’. But they didn’t even call the GP after this ghastly fall.”

A spokesperson from Palm Court said, “Palm Court has robust systems in place for safeguarding our residents and to ensure they are well cared for.

“We involve relatives in the care of their loved ones and work closely with GPs, Social Services and the Mental Health Team.

“All concerns were acted upon and all necessary medical care was provided. All relevant healthcare professionals were involved to address Mrs Butcher’s needs.

“Mrs Butcher had prescribed painkillers to keep her pain free. She was cared for sensitively with compassion and dignity. She had good nutrition, plenty to drink and was comfortable.’’

An investigation by East Sussex County Council is underway.

A council spokesperson said, “We were first made aware of Jane Butcher’s concerns about the care her mother was receiving on June 25.

“Members of our duty and assessment team visited Mrs Butcher at the home the very next day to speak to her and look into the issues raised. Subsequently, a safeguarding investigation was initiated which will look in detail at all the concerns raised, which we expect to be concluded by the end of the month.”

Jane says her mother’s hip has been left too long and nothing can be done.

She added, “My poor mother will now be left with this for the rest of her days. I felt it needed to be highlighted as I do not want anyone else to go through the same thing.”