Family of Anglesey woman who died after falling down stairs say she ‘failed on every level’

The family of a woman who died after falling down the stairs say she “failed on every level.” Hairdresser Janet Margaret Jones, 61, died at Royal Stoke University Hospital on August 8, 2018, two days after she fell at her sister’s home in Llandudno.

In 2014, Ms Jones was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, a very rare heart condition, and was under the care of the specialist unit in Sheffield. An inquest in Ruthin heard that only five people in a million had the disease, which made him dizzy and restricted his mobility.

Ms Jones, who lived in Moelfre, Anglesey, was taken to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd after the fall, where she was kept waiting on a trolley in the emergency department. When she had a scan done, it revealed that she had fractured vertebrae and arm, and after consultation she was transferred to the trauma unit in Stoke. However, instead of being taken to the high dependency unit, she was taken to a ward.

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Southampton pulmonary hypertension specialist Dr Rachel Limbrey told the inquest that her care at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd appeared to have been “disorganized” and although her condition was serious, her death was hastened by the fall. She said the scan had failed to identify rib fractures, but that had not played a role in her death.

Recording a narrative conclusion, John Gittins, chief coroner for eastern and central North Wales, said that although neither hospital “covered itself in glory”, Ms Jones simply did not have the physical reserves to combat the shock of the trauma.

Ruthin County Hall(Image: Reach plc)

He said that having heard about the changes that had since been implemented by the Welsh Ambulance Services Trust and the Betsi Cadwaladr University Board of Health, he saw no need to issue a Preventing Future Deaths report.

Following the investigation, Ms Jones’ family released a statement saying: “From the time paramedics came to help our mother after she fell at her sister’s home, to the time she passed away after for almost three days lying on her back in a hospital. bed where she ultimately passed away, we feel that she failed on every level and was not given the basic care and treatment that she or anyone else would expect or deserve. The internal investigation by Betsi’s board of health identified 10 breaches of duty in her care and the report stated that ‘it is clear that harm may have been caused as a result of the breaches of duty.'”

A report by independent medical experts said in summary that “in my opinion, the care provided to Ms. Jones from the outset, including that provided by the paramedical team, the triaging professionals at YGC, the medical evaluations, along with the disputes between the teams, it was ABJECT!”

In the report, the medical expert was particularly struck by the high pain score and deterioration during her stay at YGC.

Why journalists cover investigations and why it’s crucial that we do so

(Image: Manchester Evening News)

Reporting on an investigation can be one of the most difficult stories a journalist can write.

More often than not, they are emotionally charged procedures attended by grieving people who are desperate for answers.

Sometimes investigations can seem quite clinical due to the coroner’s need to remain impartial and sensible in order to draw a conclusion from desperately sad events.

As painful as these procedures are for those who have lost a loved one, the lessons that can be learned from the investigations can go a long way in saving the lives of others.

Families are often surprised, and sometimes angry, when they see a reporter present.

They are understandably concerned that the nature of their loved one’s death will be sensationalized and that one piece of news will tarnish their memory forever.

Responsible and ethically-minded journalists will do their best to report on investigations sensitively, without shying away from the often disturbing facts.

It is vital that the public not forget that inquests are a type of judicial investigation; after all, they are being held in a coroner’s court.

The press have a legal right to attend inquests and have a responsibility to report on them as part of their duty to uphold the principle of ‘open justice’.

But in doing so, journalists must follow the guidance provided by the Independent Press Standards Organization and set out in the Publishers’ Code of Conduct.

It is the duty of a journalist to make sure that the public understands the reasons why someone has died and to make sure that their deaths are not kept secret.

An investigative report can also clear up any rumors or suspicions surrounding a person’s death.

But most important of all, an investigative report can draw attention to circumstances that may prevent more deaths from occurring.

Inquiries are not criminal courts, there is no prosecution or defense, they are investigative courts that seek to answer four key questions:

  • Who is the person who died?
  • Where did they die?
  • When did they die?
  • How did they die?

They don’t share the blame.

Once these questions are answered, a medical examiner will be able to record a conclusion.

The broader lessons that can be learned from an investigation can have far-reaching consequences, but if journalists don’t attend to them, how can you raise public awareness?

The harsh reality is that they can’t. Coroners often do not publish the results of an investigation.

If journalists avoid attending inquests, an entire arm of the judicial system, and many others who need to answer vital questions, will not be held accountable.

Inquiries can often spark a broader discussion on serious issues, the most recent being mental health and suicide.

Editors actively request and encourage reporters to speak with the family and friends of a person who is the subject of an investigation.

Your contributions help us create a clearer picture of the deceased and also provide an opportunity to pay tribute to your loved one.

Families often do not wish to speak to the press, and of course that decision must be respected.

However, as seen in many brilliant campaigns run by newspapers and websites across the country, the contribution of one person’s family and friends can make all the difference in helping save others.

Without the presence of the press at inquests, questions will go unanswered, debates will go undiscussed and lives will be lost.

He claimed that the concern and deterioration in the mother’s condition were ignored and disregarded throughout, despite the family constantly challenging and alerting staff.

The report also stated: “This is totally unacceptable in a modern first world medical facility.”

The family added: “We thank the coroner for his narrative verdict today and we only hope that Betsi Cadwaladr’s board of health will live up to its words and show drastic improvement in the basic care and compassion that anyone in this modern world deserves.” .

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