‘Terrible, agonising death’ of pensioner who fell in Derby care home

A pensioner suffered a “terrible, agonising” death after falling in a care home, a court heard. Stroke victim Shirley Froggett was partially paralysed and should have been strapped into her chair.

Lindsay Foster, manager of Mickleover-based New Lodge care home, should have known she needed this support, the court was told.

Mrs Froggett was found on the floor in the lounge area of the home. Foster allowed the pensioner, who was paralysed down her left side following a stroke, to be taken back to her room and then failed to call for medical attention. Mrs Froggett’s family were then not told about the fall for two hours and an ambulance was only called when her daughter arrived at the Western Road home.

It was later found that the 84-year-old had suffered a fractured hip and bruising and developed pneumonia, which she died from six weeks later.

Speaking in court, Mrs Froggett’s daughter said: “The family has suffered terribly. I can’t put into word how much it has affected us – she died a terrible, agonising death and people have continually lied to us.”

Sentencing 62-year-old Foster and New Lodge Care Ltd, District Judge Jonathan Taaffe said: “I accept that the nature of care homes means that the work can be trying, demanding and hard both emotionally and physically.

“It can never be described as easy.

“However, we all have the right to expect that if someone resides in a care home they will be looked after professionally and with dignity and care and there are worrying features in this case.”

Lindsay Foster

The hearing was told how New Lodge Care Ltd is now in completely new ownership to when the incident happened in 2018.

Danielle Gilmour, prosecuting on behalf of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said Mrs Froggett had suffered the stroke and became a resident at New Lodge.

She said a risk assessment identified she required hoists, slings, slide bars and a strap with a buckle to keep her in a wheelchair when she was sat in it due to her paralysis.

But on September 19, 2018 she was found lying in the floor in the living room area having suffered an unwitnessed fall.

Ms Gilmour said: “After the incident she was moved to her bedroom, she had bruising to her face, was in an increased state of confusion but no ambulance was called.

“She (Foster) accepts she failed on that part.

“Mrs Froggett’s family were informed two hours later , arrived and saw the bruising to her temple, face and around her left leg.

“(One of her daughters) was told no medical assistance was requested and 111 was called.”

Ms Gilmour said the daughter referred the case to the CQC and an inspector concluded the victim was left unattended in a wheelchair, was not moved to a comfier chair and that no medical assistance had been called for.

Foster, of St John’s Road, Biddulph, near Stoke-on-Trent, pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe care and treatment resulting in avoidable harm to Ms Froggett.

New Lodge care home in Western Avenue Mickleover

She was fined £800.

Representing herself, she said: “I do feel that it was exceptionally busy (the day of the fall) and I don’t think my head was in the right space.

“I can only apologies, I can’t do any more.”

New Lodge Nursing Care Ltd also pleaded guilty to the same charge, was fined £30,000 and was ordered to pay £7,500 costs.

Paul Rogers, mitigating, for the firm, said: “I apologise to the family, she should not have fallen in the way that she did and the company did not have robust enough procedures.

“The staff were all competent staff but something went wrong that day.

“She should have gone to hospital more quickly.

“She (Foster) did carry out an assessment, it is not that Shirley was ignored, a judgement was made but the judgment was the wrong one in the circumstances.

“The consequences for Mrs Foster have been catastrophic.”