Family accuse hospital of neglecting their disabled father

Evesham Journal: ACCUSATION: Sisters Zoe and Sarah Price with a picture of their dad Melvin. ACCUSATION: Sisters Zoe and Sarah Price with a picture of their dad Melvin.

THE family of a disabled man who was allegedly dropped from a hoist while being lifted into his hospital bed are accusing nursing staff of negligence and attempting to cover up the incident.

Melvin Price’s daughters Sarah, Zoe and Gemma have complained to Worcestershire Royal Hospital about the care their late father received while staying on the Laurel Two ward.

They say that Mr Price, who suffered from secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), was dropped from a height of half-a-metre during his stay last September and then denied treatment until the next morning for a foot injury suffered during his fall.

They have had meetings with hospital staff, who have denied that Mr Price fell while in their care.

However, the family say they have been told first-hand by one nurse who was called to assist that she found Mr Price “with his bottom on the foot- plates of his wheelchair” having slipped from his hoist while being lifted.

Sarah Price, aged 24, from Pershore, first heard of her father’s fall when she got a text from his sister-in-law.

She said she saw staff close the curtains around Mr Price, followed a few moments later by a thud and a cry of pain.

She then described a “state of panic” as other nurses raced to assist before the curtains were finally opened 20 minutes later.

Concerned at the news, Miss Price and her sisters raced to the hospital where they were told that everything was fine.

But after hearing what had happened from her father, Miss Price then demanded an explanation. She was even more incensed when Mr Price told her that the fall had left him with a sore and swollen ankle, which nurses told him they could not do anything about until the next morning.

“This is neglect, he needed help and yet no- one helped him,” she said.

She added that the family had been using a hoist with Mr Price for eight years without a problem and that the whole catalogue of events had left them “angry and upset”.

“They demonstrated complete incompetence and unprofessionalism and showed little care for Melvin and very little concern over the incident they had caused,” she said. “Not only that but after the incident some of the staff tried to deny anything had happened.”

Mr Price passed away in October, aged 51, and Miss Price said she was determined to pursue the incident, not just to stop something similar happening to someone else, but because it is what her dad would have wanted.

“With his condition dad was in pain every single day but he never complained about anything,” she said. “For him to want to make a complaint about something I know that something bad must have happened.”

Helen Blanchard, chief nursing officer at Worcestershire Royal, said she could not comment on individual cases but would continue to address the concerns directly.

“We are sorry that Miss Price has experienced problems and had cause to complain about the care of her father at our hospital,” she said. “We take all complaints very seriously and aim to be as honest and open with families as possible, and we have shared our investigation with them.”

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