Family’s anger as blunders at a hospital led to death of Irene

Irene Floyer, who died after a series of mistakes at Northampton General Hospital.
Irene Floyer, who died after a series of mistakes at Northampton General Hospital.

A grieving brother and sister devastated by a catalogue of errors that cost their mother her life have secured a five-figure settlement in a clinical negligence case.

Irene Floyer, 86, died from sepsis, caused by a post-operative MRSA infection following hip replacement surgery at Northampton General Hospital in March 2011. Her death was found to be the result of a series of medical blunders.

She was at her home in Flore with son Alex when she collapsed in pain and after an examination by her doctor was taken to hospital by ambulance. X-rays showed a fractured hip and she was operated on the next morning.

Mr Floyer said: “What happened next was simply tragic; not just for mum but for me, my sister and everyone who loved her.”

She bled profusely both during and after surgery, and the wound subsequently became infected with MRSA and became septic.

Mr Floyer said: “To make things worse we later discovered that doctors failed to discover mum’s inherited bleeding disorder during the pre-operative assessment even though it was recorded in her notes.

“Excessive bleeding is associated with an increased risk of infection.

“Had mum’s condition been recognised before surgery it would have been catered for and she wouldn’t have contracted the infection which lead to her death.”

“Following surgery, she wasn’t looked after properly either, this meant the infection wasn’t diagnosed straight away so she didn’t get the treatment she needed to fight it.

“When the trust did finally diagnose she had MRSA there was a further delay of 10 days before they took her back to theatre to wash the wound out and remove the infected tissue. In the meantime they began antibiotic treatment, only to halt them for several days – and by then she’d got sepsis.”

Despite washing the wound, Mrs Floyer went into septic shock which caused her kidneys to fail. She was put on the high dependency unit, but died in April.

Alex and sister Elizabeth Floyer-Moss wrote to the hospital after her death. When they failed to get adequate answers, they spoke to medical law firm Simpson Millar who won them compensation.

A spokesman for Northampton General Hospital said: “We are very sorry for the failings identified in Mrs Floyer’s care, and we express our sincere condolences to her family for their sad loss. We fully accept the care we provided to Mrs Floyer in 2011 was not the best possible care that we aim to provide to all our patients.

“We have fully taken on board all areas of concern and would like to assure the family, and our local community, that since 2011 we have taken robust action to improve the quality and safety of patient care at Northampton General Hospital.”