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Son tells of anger over treatment delay for Wrexham woman

Published date: 23 May 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A BEREAVED family has expressed concern over the delay in treating a woman who broke her hip after falling.

An inquest was held into the death of 96-year-old Constance Roberts, a retired shorthand typist who lived at Elm Grove, Wrexham.

A statement from Mrs Roberts’ son Neil said two scheduled operation dates for the broken hip – on December 16 and 17 last year – were cancelled.  

Surgery went ahead on December 18, but her condition deteriorated and she died at Wrexham Maelor Hospital two days later.

Speaking about the delay, another son, Andrew, told the inquest: “If that is common practice that is shameful. We feel angry at that.”

Neil Roberts’ statement stressed the family had strong praise for the quality of care Mrs Roberts received from ambulance and nursing staff.

She had a plate fitted in the operation on December 18.

On December 19, although she was drowsy medical records showed Mrs Roberts had good observations.

But on December 20 she suffered shortness of breath and her blood pressure fell.

Her condition deteriorated and despite the efforts of the medical team she died.

A post-mortem examination by pathologist Dr Pauline Dowling found the cause of death was congestive cardiac failure, with the fractured femur a contributing factor.

Mrs Roberts broke her hip in a fall at home. Coroner John Gittins said the accident would have been a major trauma to her body.

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, he told the family: “I am sure her loss has left a big hole. She obviously had a full and independent life.”

A spokesman for the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board expressed condolences to Mrs Roberts’ family after the inquest. They said a broken hip is a

“serious condition” for elderly people and can be life limiting.

“The coroner did not ask the hospital to provide any statement in relation to Mrs Roberts’ care and due to patient confidentiality we cannot make any specific comments about her treatment,” they added.

“However, if her family have concerns over the care she received while in hospital we would invite them to contact us and we will ensure any matters they raise are properly investigated.”

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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