Bexhill woman died a month after suffering four fractures in fall

A Bexhill woman, described by her son as ‘easy-going and sociable’, died a month after suffering four fractures in a fall, an inquest has heard.

Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 2:35 pm

Joyce Turner, 93, died at the Thornwood Care Home, in Turkey Road, Bexhill, on March 6, 2020.

An inquest into her death, held in Hastings on Tuesday (October 13), heard Mrs Turner, a widowed former domestic assistant, fell at the care home on February 1.

The 93-year-old, who had dementia, was taken to hospital and found to have suffered a fracture in her left humerus.

Thornwood Care Home, in Bexhill. Picture: Google

With her arm strapped, she returned to the care home later that day, the court was told, but care home staff reported she had difficulties mobilising since her return from hospital.

She was taken back to Conquest Hospital on February 4 where a CT scan revealed three small fractures in her hip.

Dr Osei Kankam, a general physician at Conquest Hospital, said Mrs Turner had undergone an x-ray on her hip during her first admission after the fall but the fractures had not been spotted. He told the court the fractures were picked up by the CT scan as it allowed hospital staff to look at the hip from different angles.

She spent nine days in hospital before returning to the care home on February 13. Mrs Turner died three weeks later on March 6.

Mrs Turner’s GP Dr Gurcharan Singh said her treatment would not have been changed had the fractures been spotted earlier. She had an advance care plan (PEACE) in place and did not require an operation, the court was told.

Dr Singh gave a cause of death as bronchopneumonia which he said was brought about by Mrs Turner being bed-ridden after fracturing her hip.

In a statement read to the court, Barry Turner said his mother was an ‘easy-going person who was sociable’.

He said she worked for East Sussex County Council for 32 years and had lived in Battle for 60 years.

Returning a conclusion of accidental death, assistant coroner for East Sussex Fiona King said: “Joyce’s dementia may have prevented her saying she was in pain. She was discharged back to the care home but she could not mobilise.

“Her treatment plan would have been no different had the fracture been found earlier. I do not believe the medical care she received in February and March contributed to her death. For that reason I have returned the conclusion of accidental death.”