Rotherham Hospital’s six-figure payout after sepsis death patient ‘completely let down’

A picture of the infected leg taken by the patient himselfA picture of the infected leg taken by the patient himself
A picture of the infected leg taken by the patient himself
A HOSPITAL has admitted a catalogue of errors caused a pensioner to die from sepsis - days before his daughter found out she was pregnant and he would have become a grandad for the first time.

The 72-year-old man’s family has now been awarded a six-figure sum from Rotherham Hospital NHS Foundation Trust who said procedures had now changed.

The patient’s daughter, who has asked for her and her father’s identity to be withheld, said: “My father’s basic care needs were not looked after. He was completely let down in every aspect of his care.” 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The man was admitted to Rotherham Hospital in February, 2015, after suffering burns to his left leg when he collapsed in a health club steam room. 

Despite the serious burns - which stretched from mid-thigh to his lower calf - he was not sent to a specialist burns unit for 13 days, by which time he had contracted sepsis and suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on arrival and died.

The Trust admitted there had been a failure to ensure staff were adequately trained in dealing with sepsis along with other errors such as not changing dressings, checking blood tests, or providing senior doctors with full information.

Doctors admitted the man’s death would have been prevented if intravenous antibiotics were prescribed and more frequent observations undertaken.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The daughter added: “The time around his death was such an emotionally difficult time. I found out just five days after he died that I was pregnant with his first grandchild. He would have doted on her.”

His daughter is urging other families to question the care their loved ones receive if they feel not enough is being done.

“Our family has medical background and we were telling them things weren’t right and that there was something more serious going on, but they didn’t listen. 

“My mum worked in medical care within Rotherham Hospital and she saw the danger signs. She was worried he may lose his leg. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“My dad had taken pictures of his leg without the dressing and it looked badly infected and to be getting worse. We did challenge and question things but we wish now that we had been more forceful. Everything we said was just brushed off. 

“They simply didn’t seem to see the danger developing and were suggesting at one stage that it was his mental health deteriorating.”

Since the man’s death, his wife of three decades has quit her hospital job as it was a “repeated reminder for her”.

Medical negligence claims specialist Gemma Bontoft, of Hudgell Solicitors, said: “It was an appalling standard of care. Sadly, we see far too many cases where the most simple tasks, and the most basic mistakes, cost lives.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Dr Callum Gardner, Trust interim medical director said procedures had been changed following the man’s death, including the introduction of new specialist teams, improved training, and a new procedure for the management of inpatients with burns. 

“We continue to strive to provide high quality, safe care for the people of Rotherham, and are very sorry that on this occasion we did not meet those standards,” he said.