Leg injury led to Worthing Sister’s death

Centenary House in Durrington
Centenary House in Durrington

TWO carers have been sacked after failing to record that a Sister slipped out of her wheelchair and broke her leg – an accident which resulted in her death.

Ellen Murray Livesey, known as Sister Anthony, 89, died at the Convent of Our Lady of Sion, Avila House, in Gratwicke Road, Worthing, on January 29.

An inquest into her death, held at Centenary House, heard Sister Anthony was taken to Worthing Hospital after a nurse noticed her leg was injured.

Sister Carolyn Wicks, who also lived at the residence, paid tribute to her friend.

“She was a great nurse and did a great deal for the Red Cross and for the homeless in Worthing.

“She was a great woman. She had a great smile and adored her family. She was willing to chat with people in need.”

Nikola Howell, care assistant at Avila House, said she was working with her colleague, Anne Mason, to stop Sister Anthony slipping out of a wheelchair. But Sister Anthony landed on the foot rest with ‘both her legs straight out in front of her’.

Ms Howell admitted an incident report form was not completed but told the inquest she ‘wasn’t trying to hide’ anything.

“I hoisted her back into the chair,” she said. “We made her lunch and she seemed to enjoy watching a Carry On film.”

Following a safeguarding investigation initiated by the hospital, Ms Howell and Ms Mason admitted there was an incident.

Both carers were referred to a disciplinary hearing and dismissed.

Sister Anthony was treated at Worthing Hospital before being discharged back to Avila House for palliative care.

Staff and sisters at Avila House raised concerns about the care she received at the hospital, however safeguarding teams at West Sussex County Council took no further action.

Sister Wicks said: “She came back and we were told it was for end of life care. She was brilliantly cared for during that period.”

A postmortem confirmed Sister Anthony died from bronchopneumonia, which developed as a result of her immobility.

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, West Sussex coroner Penelope Schofield said: “We have to go back to why she was in hospital in the first place.

“It is quite clear to me that the starting point for Sister Anthony’s decline was the fracture and everything else built up from there.”

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