Dunfermline hospital slammed over patient fall

AN 87-year-old patient fell and broke his hip after a Fife hospital failed to properly assess him, an ombudsman’s report has said.

The Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline. Picture: TSPL
The Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline. Picture: TSPL

Archie Campbell, from Kelty, Fife, died nine days after surgery to repair his broken hip following the fall at Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline.

Yesterday, his family condemned his treatment as “shambolic” after the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) upheld a series of complaints about his care.

Lack of assessment

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Mr Campbell, who suffered a number of conditions including dementia and arthritis, was admitted to hospital in December 2011 after collapsing at home.

Despite warnings from the family that he had suffered falls, he was not assessed for his risk of falling when he was admitted. A falls assessment was carried out four days later and he was not assessed every day.

The ombudsman said he was “disappointed” about how Mr Campbell was assessed. He said he was also concerned that staff were unaware that he had fallen on the ward, despite the family being told by other patients and visitors who saw him fall.

“I consider this unacceptable in what should have been a safe and caring environment,” the report said.

The ombudsman also upheld complaints that the hospital failed to appropriately manage the patient’s foot and fluid intake or communicate appropriately with the family after his death.


Speaking to The Scotsman, Mr Campbell’s daughter, Jessie Wood, said the family hoped the board would learn from the mistakes raised by their complaint.

“His care was just completely shambolic from start to finish. It was a whole host of nobody knowing what they were doing, nobody knowing who my dad was and nobody treating him as a person,” she said.

“We knew he was ill, but I did not expect him not to come home.”

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Dr Scott McLean, NHS Fife executive director of nursing, said: “I would again like to apologise to the family for the shortfalls identified in the ombudsman’s report.

“This falls below the standard of care we expect to provide to our patients. We accept the report’s recommendations and will be improving our falls risk assessment and we are clear that we expect improvements in line with the other recommendations made by the ombudsman.”

Lanarkshire blasted over lung cancer patient

In another report published by the ombudsman, NHS Lanarkshire was told to apologise to a patient who waited months for his lung cancer to be diagnosed.

The patient - known as Mr C - was having treatment for another condition in May 2012 when a scan revealed a nodule in his lung.

But it was not until August that the result was mentioned to him by his GP. A follow-up scan took place in September but there were then further delays before the diagnosis of lung cancer was confirmed after a biopsy in October.

The ombudsman criticised the delays in the diagnosis.

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A spokesman for NHS Lanarkshire said: “We regret any instance where we fail to meet the highest standards of care for our patients.

“We have apologised to the patient for the unacceptable delay he faced and we will be writing to him to offer our sincere apologies for the failures identified in the ombudsman’s report.

“We have fully accepted the recommendations contained within the report and will act on them accordingly to address the areas highlighted and ensure that lessons are learned.”