Huddersfield Royal Infirmary bosses have accepted a share of the blame in a woman’s untimely death.
Mum of four, Jeanne Summers, 78, slipped and fell in a hospital toilet cubicle in 2013, badly breaking her ankle.
The frail pensioner from Dalton had not been supervised inside the cubicle and fell as she was only wearing socks on the slippy tiled floor.
An official probe concluded the incident contributed to her death ten days later.
The infirmary was issued a so-called Regulation 28 warning by West Yorkshire Coroner’s Court in a bid to prevent future incidents.
But Mrs Summers’ grieving husband Albert and daughter Jayne took their own legal action and told the Examiner that the hospital had failed to investigate the incident properly or communicate what was going on.
After more than two years of wrangling, the family has now revealed the dispute has been settled.
The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA), which handles negligence claims for hospitals, has admitted a number of mistakes were made by hospital staff.
A letter from the NHSLA, seen by the Examiner, reveals the infirmary made errors with Mrs Summers’ care and its assessment of her likelihood to fall.
The family has received some compensation.
Jeanne’s daughter Jayne, said: “This has never been about compensation but has been all about finding out where the responsibility lay for our dear mum’s death.
“It’s taken a long time and we’ve really had to push every step of the way but the whole family is pleased that we finally have a resolution. It’s a great relief.
“My father brought the case but all of the family has been involved throughout. My mum was 78 and was taken before her time.
“It has been hard work and very emotionally draining.
“Time and again during the case key healthcare individuals made promises about correspondence that were not kept and it has dragged on.
“We have had to be vigilant throughout and sought regular guidance from our solicitors Heptonstalls who are well versed in dealing with negligence issues of this kind.
“The trust has finally admitted their culpability and have accepted that my mum’s fall played a part in her death ten days later. It’s an admission of failure on their part.
“We all hope that the trust will learn from this and that it will lead to improved care for vulnerable, elderly people.
“That would be a fine legacy for my mum to leave.”
Cynthia Marshall, a solicitor with Heptonstalls, added: “We are pleased that this tragic case has finally reached a conclusion and our client is satisfied with the outcome.
“Learning from cases such as this will help to add rigour to the quality of healthcare we all experience within the NHS and we all hope that lessons have been learnt.”
Julie Dawes, Director of Nursing at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We would again take the opportunity to send our condolences to Mrs Summers’ family. “I can confirm that all learning in terms of the care we provide and the way we handled the family’s concerns has been shared so we can improve as a hospital going forward.”