Southampton hospital criticised after death of Chandler's Ford grandfather

Daily Echo: Grandfather-of-four Ernest Carpenter died after 'three weeks of hell' Grandfather-of-four Ernest Carpenter died after 'three weeks of hell'

It was “three weeks of hell” – and exactly the way a Hampshire pensioner’s family say he did not want to die.

Grandfather-of-four Ernest Carpenter, who was known as Roy, went to Southampton General Hospital for a check up after he had fallen over at home.

But three weeks later he died in his hospital bed – and his family say his care was to blame.

Now Southampton Coroner Keith Wiseman is to write to the hospital to outline concerns raised by the family at an inquest.

Mr Carpenter, 85, was originally taken in for a scan which revealed bleeding on his brain following the fall at his home in Chandler’s Ford.

Medical staff told his family he was likely to go home soon.

But two days after he was admitted, Mr Carpenter fell over again while trying to walk to the toilet with an IV drip stand, which caused brain injuries that led to his death.

That fall in September 2010, came just hours after an occupational therapist had assessed Mr Carpenter as being able to walk independently – a conclusion that his family say was wrong.

The inquest heard Mr Carpenter had initially gone to hospital because of his daughter’s concerns about his ability to move safely.

But an assessment by occupational therapist Abbi Ward, who looked at his ability to walk 20 metres and tackle stairs, found that he was “independent and safe when mobilising” – a judgement that was passed onto nurses looking after him.

Mrs Ward told the court that she always erred on the side of caution when assessing patients but believed Mr Carpenter could walk by himself.

But his daughter, Anita Keelor, said she believed that judgement was wrong and that Mr Carpenter should have had help to get to the toilet.

She said: “To say his mobility was absolutely fine, I would totally disagree with your view on that – seeing my father once or twice a day, that simply wasn’t the case.”

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Coroner Keith Wiseman said he would write a letter to the hospital.

Letter He said: “A letter from me to the hospital may help in any ongoing matters that might need to be considered. “Anything that I say will not suggest that the actual assessment was incorrect at the time – I have been told it was a snapshot and I have no reason to imagine that any risks had been taken in that assessment.”

Speaking after the inquest, Mrs Keelor said that she has lodged a complaint with the hospital.

She added: “We’re hoping they will change their procedures because of what we went through.

“It’s just a tragic waste of a life – to have three weeks of that hell.

“And that would have been dad’s worst circumstances to go out in.”

The head of patient safety at the hospital, Gail Byrne, said: “The trust has stringent processes in place to ensure the safety of patients and minimise the risk of falls while maintaining patients’ independence and, in this instance, that assessment was performed correctly and supported by the coroner. “We urge Mr Carpenter’s family to contact us directly if they have any outstanding issues they feel have not been answered by the inquest.”

Comments (7)

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2:25pm Wed 5 Dec 12

ohec says...

85 not a bad age its a fact of life we all die at some point and ones ability to walk can vary from one minute to the next, so unfortunate as it might seem any fall of someone that age has to be treated as potentially life threatening.
So to try and lay blame at anybodies door i think is wrong the family should be grateful that he lived to a good age and stop feeling bitter. The N.H.S might not be perfect but this N.H.S bashing that seems so popular helps nobody especially those dedicated people that work in the N.H.S.
85 not a bad age its a fact of life we all die at some point and ones ability to walk can vary from one minute to the next, so unfortunate as it might seem any fall of someone that age has to be treated as potentially life threatening. So to try and lay blame at anybodies door i think is wrong the family should be grateful that he lived to a good age and stop feeling bitter. The N.H.S might not be perfect but this N.H.S bashing that seems so popular helps nobody especially those dedicated people that work in the N.H.S. ohec

3:02pm Wed 5 Dec 12

Stillness says...

Have to agree with what you say especially about abilities changing form one minute to the next.
I find it odd that in our western culture death is treated as something to be denied and hidden from view. The fact is that life carries a very high risk of death. I have sympathy with anyone who has lost a friend or relative but you can't deal with grief by looking for someone to blame. Even if you do find a way of holding a person or organization responsible it is only going to delay you from having to deal with the loss.
People celebrate a birth yet get depressed at a death. Both are as natural as the other. I hope the family manage to move on soon.
Have to agree with what you say especially about abilities changing form one minute to the next. I find it odd that in our western culture death is treated as something to be denied and hidden from view. The fact is that life carries a very high risk of death. I have sympathy with anyone who has lost a friend or relative but you can't deal with grief by looking for someone to blame. Even if you do find a way of holding a person or organization responsible it is only going to delay you from having to deal with the loss. People celebrate a birth yet get depressed at a death. Both are as natural as the other. I hope the family manage to move on soon. Stillness

4:14pm Wed 5 Dec 12

ohec says...

Strange isn't it you say that we treat death as something to be denied and hidden from view and that is exactly the same as another natural occurrence sex, despite this being the 21st century we still have some very funny idea's, the same idea's that created the KISS outrage. If people would just accept the fact that we are born in pain we die in pain so lets enjoy the bit in the middle the world would be a happier place.
Strange isn't it you say that we treat death as something to be denied and hidden from view and that is exactly the same as another natural occurrence sex, despite this being the 21st century we still have some very funny idea's, the same idea's that created the KISS outrage. If people would just accept the fact that we are born in pain we die in pain so lets enjoy the bit in the middle the world would be a happier place. ohec

4:48pm Wed 5 Dec 12

Gervin says...

I believe that the article indicated that the family wanted to prevent the pain they went through happening to other people, and that the family hope that the hospital may change their procedures to improve the assessment of the care necessary for a patient. I don't think that they are looking to blame someone. If as a result of this, a patient in the future extends their life then that will be a huge benefit to that family. I worked indirectly for Roy for a few years, and found him to be a great character. I can imagine he will be greatly missed, and have been instrumental in many peoples lives.
I believe that the article indicated that the family wanted to prevent the pain they went through happening to other people, and that the family hope that the hospital may change their procedures to improve the assessment of the care necessary for a patient. I don't think that they are looking to blame someone. If as a result of this, a patient in the future extends their life then that will be a huge benefit to that family. I worked indirectly for Roy for a few years, and found him to be a great character. I can imagine he will be greatly missed, and have been instrumental in many peoples lives. Gervin

5:59pm Wed 5 Dec 12

ohec says...

Gervin wrote:
I believe that the article indicated that the family wanted to prevent the pain they went through happening to other people, and that the family hope that the hospital may change their procedures to improve the assessment of the care necessary for a patient. I don't think that they are looking to blame someone. If as a result of this, a patient in the future extends their life then that will be a huge benefit to that family. I worked indirectly for Roy for a few years, and found him to be a great character. I can imagine he will be greatly missed, and have been instrumental in many peoples lives.
Does it not occur to some people that their loved ones might prefer to die, we should stop treating death as something to be feared nothing in life is as certain that at some point you are going to die, so death should be celebrated for the life your loved one has enjoyed and the enrichment they have brought to others. Just because your old doesn't mean your stupid and a man of 85 going into hospital is well aware of the odds of him coming out.
[quote][p][bold]Gervin[/bold] wrote: I believe that the article indicated that the family wanted to prevent the pain they went through happening to other people, and that the family hope that the hospital may change their procedures to improve the assessment of the care necessary for a patient. I don't think that they are looking to blame someone. If as a result of this, a patient in the future extends their life then that will be a huge benefit to that family. I worked indirectly for Roy for a few years, and found him to be a great character. I can imagine he will be greatly missed, and have been instrumental in many peoples lives.[/p][/quote]Does it not occur to some people that their loved ones might prefer to die, we should stop treating death as something to be feared nothing in life is as certain that at some point you are going to die, so death should be celebrated for the life your loved one has enjoyed and the enrichment they have brought to others. Just because your old doesn't mean your stupid and a man of 85 going into hospital is well aware of the odds of him coming out. ohec

8:57pm Wed 5 Dec 12

beiroot says...

Southampton General must be kacking themselves.......the
y're going to get a letter!!
Southampton General must be kacking themselves.......the y're going to get a letter!! beiroot

10:40pm Wed 5 Dec 12

IronLady2010 says...

ohec wrote:
Gervin wrote:
I believe that the article indicated that the family wanted to prevent the pain they went through happening to other people, and that the family hope that the hospital may change their procedures to improve the assessment of the care necessary for a patient. I don't think that they are looking to blame someone. If as a result of this, a patient in the future extends their life then that will be a huge benefit to that family. I worked indirectly for Roy for a few years, and found him to be a great character. I can imagine he will be greatly missed, and have been instrumental in many peoples lives.
Does it not occur to some people that their loved ones might prefer to die, we should stop treating death as something to be feared nothing in life is as certain that at some point you are going to die, so death should be celebrated for the life your loved one has enjoyed and the enrichment they have brought to others. Just because your old doesn't mean your stupid and a man of 85 going into hospital is well aware of the odds of him coming out.
Strange you say that. Last night i paid my daily visit to my elderly neighbour who suddenly bought on the topic of death.

She told me if she becomes ill, not to let anyone revive her, she would rather be left to go in peace and dignity.

I didn't know what to say, other than don't be daft, you have a few years left in you, but it does make you wonder what the elderly think deep inside that they don't tell their own children.
[quote][p][bold]ohec[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gervin[/bold] wrote: I believe that the article indicated that the family wanted to prevent the pain they went through happening to other people, and that the family hope that the hospital may change their procedures to improve the assessment of the care necessary for a patient. I don't think that they are looking to blame someone. If as a result of this, a patient in the future extends their life then that will be a huge benefit to that family. I worked indirectly for Roy for a few years, and found him to be a great character. I can imagine he will be greatly missed, and have been instrumental in many peoples lives.[/p][/quote]Does it not occur to some people that their loved ones might prefer to die, we should stop treating death as something to be feared nothing in life is as certain that at some point you are going to die, so death should be celebrated for the life your loved one has enjoyed and the enrichment they have brought to others. Just because your old doesn't mean your stupid and a man of 85 going into hospital is well aware of the odds of him coming out.[/p][/quote]Strange you say that. Last night i paid my daily visit to my elderly neighbour who suddenly bought on the topic of death. She told me if she becomes ill, not to let anyone revive her, she would rather be left to go in peace and dignity. I didn't know what to say, other than don't be daft, you have a few years left in you, but it does make you wonder what the elderly think deep inside that they don't tell their own children. IronLady2010

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