Heartbreaking image shows 78-year-old woman with broken hip lying on mattress on hospital floor days before she died after contracting Covid while on ward

  • Maureen Paterson, 78, admitted to hospital after suffering from cognitive issues
  • While there, she had problems with stoma bag, contracted Covid and broke hip
  • She died last week after doctors told family she was nearing the end of her life
  • Her daughter, Lynn Barrie, from Scotland, submitted formal notice of complaint

A heartbreaking image shows a 78-year-old woman with a broken hip lying on a mattress on a hospital floor days before she died after contracting Covid-19 while on the ward.

Maureen Paterson was admitted to University Hospital Wishaw in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, on December 16 after suffering from various cognitive issues.

Her daughter, Lynn Barrie, says Mrs Paterson called her in a ‘terrible state’ on New Year’s Day before it was discovered her stoma bag had ‘broken several times’.

She then contracted coronavirus later that same month before her family called to check on her on the morning of January 28 – only to find she had taken a fall and broken her hip.  

Mrs Paterson passed away on Thursday morning last week. Lynn has now submitted a formal notice of complaint over what she describes as ‘gross incompetence’.  

A heartbreaking image shows Maureen Paterson, 78, lying on a mattress on a hospital floor with a broken hip days before she died after contracting Covid-19 while on the ward

Lynn, from Bellshill, said: ‘When mum was admitted we asked if she could have one-to-one care as she is very frail but they stopped that.

‘We told them to watch as she is very frail and if she fell she would break her hip. She was then moved to another ward and that’s when she went downhill.

‘On Hogmanay she called me in a terrible state and on New Year’s Day it turned out that her stoma bag had broken several times.

‘The staff said they didn’t have any bags in the hospital so my daughter Leanne went to mum’s house and got bags. She then went to the hospital and showed the nurses the correct way to put it on as it had been stuck on with surgical tape.’

Lynn stated that on January 4 her mother sustained a cut to her hand and she then contacted Wishaw hospital management regarding her mother’s condition.

She was then given permission to visit Mrs Paterson every day. Lynn further claims her mother was not given her asthma inhalers for three days.

She then contracted Covid-19 a few days later before Mrs Paterson’s family were told she had fallen and broken her hip.

Lynn said: ‘She contracted Covid which is understandable considering what is going on at the moment. She was then moved to a single room in the Covid ward.

‘Again we warned the staff that she is very frail, unsteady on her feet, and at a serious risk of falling. We were only informed she had broken her hip when we called the hospital for an update.

‘One family member had been told it happened at one particular time and we were told a different time which leads me to believe they have no idea when she had taken a fall and how long she was lying there.

‘Myself and my daughter requested a meeting and after that we went down to see her and she was lying in her room on a mattress on the floor. I couldn’t believe it that she hadn’t even been put into a bed.

‘There was no means for mum to go to the toilet as she had no catheter or a urinary pad. We were advised by the staff they were intending on using a bedpan on mum whilst her hip was broken.’

Mrs Paterson pictured with her family. On February 1, doctors called the family to notify Mrs Paterson was nearing the end of her life and she died four days later

Lynn claims the family were then told Mrs Paterson would need an operation to repair her hip or she would die in bed.

However, doctors told the family the surgery itself was not without risk and could result in death.

On February 1, doctors called the family to notify Mrs Paterson was nearing the end of her life and she died four days later.

Lynn added: ‘We are all absolutely devastated. I wouldn’t want any family having to go through this. This is gross incompetence as far as I’m concerned.

‘We gave the staff several warnings about this and now it’s happened.

‘We are well aware of the great nurses and staff at Wishaw that go above and beyond for their patients but in this instance the staff have failed in their duty of care to my mum.’

NHS Lanarkshire confirmed a complaint had been received from the family regarding Mrs Paterson’s care.

Anne Leitch, chief nurse at University Hospital Wishaw, said: ‘We would like to convey our deepest sympathy to the family and our thoughts are with them at this most difficult time. 

‘We aim to provide the highest standard of care to all our patients and we regret any instance where someone feels we have not met this standard.

‘We can confirm that NHS Lanarkshire is managing a complaint through our formal complaints process and we will respond directly to the family. We therefore cannot make further comment at this time.’

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