Hospital settles Great Barton widower’s claim out of court

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A Great Barton woman died from a pulmonary embolism after a hospital failed to fit surgical stockings, her husband has claimed.

Following a fall at home in June 2011, Lilian Sallis was admitted to West Suffolk Hospital for hip replacement surgery.

The 65-year-old, of Conyers Way, appeared to be making a good recovery, but five days after surgery she collapsed and died.

At the inquest last year, doubts were raised over whether Mrs Sallis had ever worn compression TED stockings in hospital, despite being at high risk of developing a blood clot.

Her family said the stockings were never fitted, a claim disputed by the hospital.

As a result, Lilian’s widower, Arthur Sallis, brought a civil action against the Bury St Edmunds hospital.

His claim was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum of money.

The hospital has continued to deny failure in equipping Mrs Sallis with the surgical stockings.

The case was brought by Trefine Maynard, a medical negligence specialist with solicitors Ashton KCJ.

She said: “Our main concern was that despite prescribing the application of these stockings, they weren’t used.

“They are recommended by NICE guidelines and had also been prescribed for Mrs Sallis, and the omission to provide them failed to protect my client’s wife against the recognised risk of a blood clot.”

She added: “The motivation of Mr Sallis in bringing the claim was not the money.

“His aim was to draw attention to the fact that his wife might still be alive if her post-operative care had been better, and to encourage the hospital to review its procedures to ensure that the same thing does not happen to anyone else.”

A spokesman for West Suffolk Hospital said: “We would like to take this opportunity to pass our condolences on to Mrs Sallis’ family.

“Reducing incidents of VTE (Venous thromboembolism)is one of our priorities and we have fully implemented the best practice guidance as laid down by NICE in 2010.

“We are pleased this matter has now been settled.”