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Whittington doctors accused of sending woman home with four cracked ribs and collapsed lung

17:00 29 May 2014

Nora Daly was found to have suffered four cracked ribs and a broken collarbone

Nora Daly was found to have suffered four cracked ribs and a broken collarbone

Archant

The Whittington Hospital will launch an investigation after an elderly woman was sent home by A&E doctors who apparently failed to realise that she had four cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a collapsed lung.

Nora Daly was taken to the hospital in Magdala Avenue, Archway, by paramedics after a fall.

The 68-year-old woman’s family say she was given no X-rays or blood tests and was told she could go home despite being in pain.

Daughter Louise Daly said: “I went to pick her up from the Whittington to take her home and was surprised to discover they didn’t X-ray her.

“My parents didn’t seem to have been given much information so I assumed it must just be bruising. But that evening she was in a lot of pain and couldn’t even lie down to sleep.

“The following day I stepped out to run some errands and when I came back one of my mum’s friends visiting her had called the ambulance because she was struggling even to breathe. It’s lucky she did.”

Mrs Daly was X-rayed at the Royal Free Hospital’s A&E department in Pond Street, Hampstead, and found to have four cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a collapsed lung.

Doctors realised that she was suffering from a pre-existing pneumonia infection, and told her to remain in hospital until treated.

Mrs Daly described her assessment at the Whittington as “lackadaisical” while husband Patrick 73, branded it “cursory”.

Mrs Daly’s family have complained to the hospital about her care.

The different treatments in two different NHS A&E departments has left their daughter “shocked”.

“My mother’s recovering from a stroke, fighting pneumonia, is old and frail,” Ms Daly said. “Is this how we treat our most vulnerable people?

“You hear the horror stories about the NHS all the time, but it still blows your mind when your loved ones are the victims of this kind of incompetence.

“It’s just mind-boggling they could mess up something this simple,” she added.

A Whittington spokesman said: “We are deeply sorry to hear that Ms Daly and her family are upset with the care received in our emergency department.

“We will be launching an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mrs Daly’s care. We are very happy to meet with the family to discuss this further.”

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