A PATIENT who died after falling over in Colchester General Hospital hadn't undergone a "falls risk assessment" beforehand.

A serious incident investigation has now been launched by the troubled trust running the hospital.

The 95-year-old man from Clacton had an unwitnessed fall on the surgical ward two days after being admitted there.

The incident only came to light after the fall was recorded in public documents, which will be discussed at the hospital trust's board of directors meeting tomorrow.

The report in the papers states: “There were three serious harm falls in January including one death, bringing the total to 22 for the year to date.

"The patient who died suffered a subdural haemorrhage.” [severe head injury] “

"There have been 84 fewer falls in the year to end January 2016 compared to the same period last year and two fewer serious harm falls. "Preliminary enquiries have not been able to find evidence of a falls risk assessment for the gentleman who died.”

The Gazette asked the trust, which now has a £35.3million deficit, to provide further details of the fatal incident as a result.

A spokesman for Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust said it happened in late January and the man died in early February.


He said: "There is also a suggestion that he had a fall before coming to this hospital.


"The Trust is treating this as a serious incident and our investigation is being led by an A&E consultant and a falls prevention practitioner.

"We have been in touch with this man’s relatives to say that we are conducting a review of his care."

He added that because the investigation is ongoing, the trust could not comment further at this stage.

The Gazette also asked the trust why a falls risk assessment was not done and if the trust would be liable for compensation.

The board of directors meeting will be held in the Postgraduate Medical Centre, Colchester General Hospital, at 2pm. It will be open to members of the public.

The hospital trust has been in special measures for two years and last month the damning findings of a Care Quality Commission inspection were published.

The trust was rated as inadequate and has until April to demonstrate it has made considerable progress in implementing improvements.