Family brand Forth Valley Royal Hospital's treatment of dementia patient as 'inhumane'

The family of a Falkirk woman who broke her hip in Forth Valley Royal Hospital (FVRH) have raised complaints over the way the pensioner was treated.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 9:39 am
Updated Thursday, 30th September 2021, 9:40 am

Molly Allan’s loved ones view the care the dementia patient received as “barbaric and inhumane” and claim, on top of being made to walk on a fractured hip, the 88-year-old was left unvaccinated for Covid and at times found in “urine-soaked linen” and without clean clothes.

Molly, an inpatient in Ward 5 at FVRH between December 2020 and this spring, died in a separate care setting in July, but her relatives are demanding answers from NHS Forth Valley (FV).

Earlier this month we told how more than 250 patients have broken a bone after falling at FVRH since it opened in 2011.

Falkirk woman Molly Allan was a patient in Ward 5 at Forth Valley Royal Hospital between December 2020 and spring 2021. Contributed.

Molly’s relatives say the former Glenbrae Court resident was let down by the hospital.

Her daughter, Fiona, and granddaughter, also called Molly, contacted FVRH’s mental health welfare team and the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland to put their grievances in writing.

The family claim the pensioner was left “in a room for weeks on end without a television or any stimulation, hearing aids, clean clothes or covers to keep her warm”.

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Daughter Fiona said: “My mum was treated very badly whilst in Ward 5.

“She was unvaccinated for Covid when admitted aged 88, and caught Covid.

“My daughter and I had three end-of-life visits with her and she was in a terrible state – food all over her and on the floor.

“She was in a dirty hospital nightie; all her dirty urine-soaked linen was stuffed in her wardrobe.

“The hospital called me to say she was having difficulty bearing weight on one leg. They continued to mobilise her for three days before they sent her for an X-ray, only to discover her hip was broken. By making her walk on it, they displaced the fracture and it meant a full hip replacement.

“She survived the surgery but never walked again.

“One of her problems was sundowning: turning night into day. What we find particularly distasteful is that a staff member relayed a story to me shortly after she was admitted about how they tried to prevent her from getting into her bed during the day.

“One nurse found it highly amusing that they locked her out of her room at points or they pumped up her bed so she couldn’t get into it.

“He said she would often pull a chair over and be found on it trying to get into her bed. This is barbaric and inhumane.”

An NHS FV spokeswoman said: “We would like to pass on our heartfelt condolences to Mrs Allan's family for their sad loss.

“We have carried out a detailed investigation into a number of issues raised by the family and shared the findings with them.

“However, we would encourage them to get in touch with our patient relations team if they have any questions or ongoing concerns they would like to discuss.

“A wide range of training and measures are in place in all of our inpatient wards to help reduce the risk of falls. When a fall does occur, any learning is shared along with other relevant action to help prevent it from happening again.”

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