AN inquest being held to determine if the care that an 81-year-old received in the months leading up to his death was correct is due to conclude today.
Roland Edmund Baldwyn Childe, who was known as Eddie, died at the Hospital on 13 August 2019.
Yesterday’s inquest heard that Mr Childe was taken from his care home to the Emergency Department a month before his death after his health deteriorated.
Mr Childe was admitted to hospital on 12 July 2019 with a severe chest infection and sepsis. He had also been suffering from dementia and Parkinson’s Disease for five years.
Although Mr Childe’s sepsis was successfully treated in hospital, he developed aspiration pneumonia, which is usually fatal in someone so frail, and it was therefore decided to manage his conditions rather than attempt to prolong his life.
He died naturally, with aspiration pneumonia due to Parkinson’s Disease given as the primary cause.
However, Mr Childe also had an infected pressure sore, which gave rise to safeguarding concerns.
Carole Brett, who was the tissue viability nurse specialist at the Hospital when Mr Childe was admitted, said that he arrived at hospital in a ‘terrible state’ and described his pressure sore as ‘one of the most serious I’ve ever seen’.
‘When I entered the ward, you could smell the odour [of the sore] from across the room, even though he was on a large six-bedded bay,’ she added.
The pressure sore was first noted in November 2018, when Mr Childe was being cared for at L’Hermitage Care Home.
In January 2019, he was moved to Beaumont Villa Care Home, which is a dementia unit located within the grounds of L’Hermitage Gardens Retirement Village.
The inquest heard evidence that, during the period from November 2018 to Mr Childe’s hospital admission in July 2019, his pressure wound was treated regularly and would often improve before worsening again.
The main safeguarding concerns were focused on the period from June 2019 to Mr Childe’s hospital admission on 12 July 2019.
Denise Childe, through her lawyer, Advocate John Bourg, expressed concerns that there were ‘no external visits [from medical professionals to the care home] for about a month from 14 June’.
The inquest heard from Dr Bob Parris, the registered GP of Mr Childe, who last assessed his pressure sore during a visit to the care home in June 2019. He described the sore as ‘improving’ at that time.
However, when Advocate Bourg showed Dr Parris photographs taken of Mr Childe’s pressure sore when he arrived at the Hospital a month later, the GP described the wound as ‘horrendous’.
‘The pressure sore that I saw looked nothing like this,’ he said. ‘This is far worse than what I saw. Frankly, there’s no way I would’ve sat on that.’
Advocate Bourg also showed the same photographs to a tissue viability nurse from the Family Nursing and Home Care team who visited Mr Childe in his care home.
‘The last time we were involved on 14 June, the wound did not look like that,’ she said.
‘If we had come in and seen that, it would have been an escalation to the GP to consider surgical intervention.’
She added that she ‘very rarely’ saw pressure sores of that level of seriousness.
The inquest continues this morning, and is due to conclude today.