Inquests into deaths of two elderly PEH patients

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TWO elderly hospital patients died within two weeks of one another last summer after falling while on ward, inquests heard yesterday, as the grandson of one called for Health & Social Care to take the 'significant failings' seriously.

Both Molly Thoume and Basil Savident died in July last year after falling and sustaining serious head injuries, which contributed to their deaths. Verdicts of accidental death were returned for both.

The inquests, held separately but following one another, heard how HSC's internal investigations uncovered failings and service delivery problems in the care of both individuals, who were both aged 88.

In Mrs Thoume's care, Law Officers' Liaison Nigel Burnard said there were care and service delivery problems relating to documentation and 'non-compliance with best practice in relation to the assessment and monitoring of falls'.

He said in Mr Savident's case, a number of failings with the 'Falls Risk Assessment Tool' in regards to his assessment were identified.

As a result, Mr Burnard said, HSC had since set up a working party to review its policies and an action plan and recommended changes would be rolled out across the committee.

In a statement read at Mrs Thoume's inquest, her grandson, Christopher Thoume, said his grandmother was a 'loved and cherished individual' and her sudden death had taken the family 'by surprise'.

While the family was aware HSC was addressing the failures in her care, it felt the fact that the internal investigation could not find a 'root cause' for her fall was 'disingenuous'. They believed the root cause to be her mental health.

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