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Family Awarded Five-Figure Sum After Mother's Death

Friday October 18 2013


We Are Barnsley We Are Barnsley


AS a nurse, 92-year-old Agnes Ashley spent her working life caring for others, but when it was her turn to be looked after, her family say she was let down after sustaining pressure sores while staying at a Barnsley care home.

Mrs Ashley, who was bedridden, died in April 2010 at Eboracum House on Park Grove.

At her inquest held the same year, a coroner was told she suffered from a pressure sore at the base of her spine measuring 18cm across and almost 3cm deep.

Coroner David Coutts-Wood subsequently ruled that Mrs Ashley's death was partly due to pressure sores.

Now, after three years of legal action, her family believe justice has been done after Eboracum House agreed a 'substantial' out of court settlement.

The home, which has denied liability for her death, will pay the family a five-figure sum.

Her children Linda James, Ann Wilcock and Noel James believe her life could have been prolonged had the home put a care plan in place earlier to treat the sores.

It prompted them to pursue a claim for medical negligence against the home through Raley's solicitors.

"Once we got that verdict from the coroner, that's when the anger came in and we wanted answers," said 64-year-old Linda.

"We decided to take legal action because we wanted the home to be held accountable."

The case never went to court because Eboracum House opted to settle beforehand, which the family said should serve as a 'wake up call' for the home.

"We feel we made the right choice to pursue it and we all feel we've got some closure and some justice has been done," said Linda.

The siblings believe Mrs Ashley, who lived most of her life in Worsbrough Common, got the pressure sores due to a basic neglect of care on the home's part.

Linda said: "What I can't understand is if mum was being washed, cleaned and taken to the toilet, the sore should have been seen."

The former nurse moved into Eboracum House in January 2008 and in March 2010 was taken to Barnsley Hospital with a suspected heart attack.
That's when hospital staff found the pressure sore.

Mrs Ashley's skin was severely damaged with surrounding tissue beginning to die and bone visible. She was taken back to the home but her condition worsened after another hospital visit, with the sores becoming infected and septic.

At this point the reality of what was happening hit home for the siblings when a consultant told Linda that her mother was dying.