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Family take action after pensioner leaves Colchester hospital with broken bones

Leading health lawyer voices alarm over Colchester NHS crisis - public meeting arranged to discuss concerns

Joyce Beales

2 December 2014

A leading health lawyer at Leigh Day has voiced concerns that the situation at Colchester NHS Trust could quickly escalate to the level of the Mid Staffordshire crisis as a family takes legal action after their elderly mother sustained three broken bones during a hospital stay.

Joyce Beales, aged 86 from Clacton, visited the accident and emergency department at Colchester General Hospital in October 2012 and after an examination was diagnosed with a bleed on the brain and admitted as an inpatient.
Screen-Shot-2014-12-02-at-17-03-46.pngJust over a week later Mrs Beales was discharged to Clacton District Hospital where she underwent an x-ray which highlighted two broken hips and a broken thigh bone. Her son, Roger Beales, 60, told the Colchester Gazette that he suspected his mum’s injuries were caused by falling out of bed.

In an interview with the local newspaper, he said: “I walked into A&E with my mum and she stood up to have her height and weight checked. She was not in pain... these injuries could only have happened in the hospital.”

Mr Beales, who also claims his mother developed bed sores during her stay and that her dressings were not changed regularly, added that the family were taking legal action in order to find out how she had sustained her injuries and why the hospital had no record of them.

After her injuries were discovered, Mrs Beales was re-admitted to Colchester General where she passed away in January 2013 after suffering suspected pneumonia, a tragedy which her family do not blame the hospital for.

The family are being represented by Leigh Day’s Emma Jones, who has represented 200 patients in legal cases after the Mid Staffordshire Hospital crisis and is now investigating four cases relating to Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust.

She said: “We are calling for a thorough investigation into the circumstances which led to Mrs Beales sustaining serious injuries whilst a patient at Colchester General Hospital. It is important for her family to find out what happened to her and important that the hospital learn from this terrible incident.

“Unless these issues are taken seriously, we could be seeing another crisis on the scale on Mid Staffordshire. That crisis did not happen overnight and was the result of complaints and problems being ignored and nothing being done.”

Emma Jones will be attending a public meeting at Firstsite in Colchester on Tuesday, December 16, between 12pm and 7pm.

To find out more, email kbuckley@leighday.co.uk or call 020 7650 1323

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