HAILSHAM: Nursing home falls caused fatal injuries

AN 84-year-old blind man who was prone to falling over died from bleeding on the brain after suffering a fatal tumble.

Edward Albert Cook, a retired builder, died last February after two falls just weeks apart while staying at his Herstmonceux nursing home, an inquest on Thursday, March 24 heard.

Mr Cook, who was registered blind and also suffered from severe dementia, was admitted to Eastbourne District General Hospital last January after taking a late-night tumble at the Dunsfold care home in Herstmonceux.

He was again taken to hospital a few weeks later on February 11 after another fall which triggered bleeding on his brain.

Mr Cook later died of his injuries after doctors decided he was too fragile to undergo surgery.

Speaking at the inquest last week, Mr Cook’s daughters Michele O’Connell and Amanda Cook told the court that their father was meant to be under 24-hour supervision at the time of his fall.

They said, “He was left on his own for 20 minutes and that is when the accident occurred.

“He started one-to-one care after he came out of hospital.

“They didn’t have the staff, he still had the fall and he went into hospital the second time.”

The Dunsfold nursing home staff were not called to give evidence at the inquest but coroner Alan Craze accepted the family’s comments. He recorded a verdict of accidental death.

“We have at at least two proven falls. We can’t say where the second one took place,” he said.