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Family demand answers over mum's death
9:00am Tuesday 20th August 2013 in News
A FAMILY are still waiting for answers about how their elderly mum died after she fell twice in Southend Hospital in 2011.
An inquest is yet to be heard over the death of Jean Kouspetris, also known as Jeanie Mole, 80, who died after fracturing her skull on a shower tray while trying to reach a toilet unsupervised.
Jeanie had been admitted after falling at her home on April 17, 2011.
She was unhurt, but was taken to hospital to be checked over.
There she was found to have a kidney infection and kept in for treatment.
On April 19, she fell while on Blenheim ward and suffered bruising to her face and a gashed leg.
On April 23 she fell again, smashing her head on a shower tray.
She slipped into a coma and died on May 5, 2011, but there is still no sign of a date for an inquest.
Her daughter, Chris Banpton, 55, said: “My mum was elderly, but there was nothing wrong with her mind. She was living at home and had carers and me and my sister Drew helped look after her.
“Drew was in the process of selling her house so she could move in with mum, when she had the first fall.
“She was perfectly with it when she went in hospital, but ended up with all these injuries.
“She kept trying to get to the toilet because no one would help her, but they tried to say she’d fallen because she had dementia.”
Mrs Banpton, of Apple Tree Close, Southchurch, added: “They moved her to a private room behind the nurses’ station on April 23 so they could supervise her better, but we warned them they would have to lock the door to the toilet in the room, otherwise she would try to get there on her own, but they didn’t and she fell and smashed her head on the shower tray.”
Mrs Mole’s condition deteriorated, but the family says because it was an Easter bank holiday weekend staffing levels were low, so she wasn’t assessed by a doctor.
On Easter Monday, Mrs Mole was finally examined, but wasn’t X-rayed or scanned. Instead, she was prescribed painkillers. She lapsed into a coma on May 3, 2011 and died two days later. A pathologist report showed she had a fractured skull. The family were told by the coroner it was classed as an unnatural death.
Mrs Banpton said: “You would think the pictures of her after she’d been in hospital a few days were taken before she went in, not the other way round. It’s shocking what happened to her in there.”
The family says the Southend coroner blamed the hospital for delays in receiving requested documents.
Sue Hardy, chief nurse and deputy chief executive at Southend Hospital, said: “We have been in touch with both Mrs Kouspetris’s family and the coroner during the last few weeks.
“On July 17, the Coroner requested further reports from the hospital and we are in the process of getting this additional information.
“Once it is received, it will be sent to the coroner who is responsible for setting the inquest date.”
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