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Woman, 102, becomes oldest patient to sue NHS for being prematurely discharged after fracturing pelvis
Medics discharged previously mobile 97-year-old just eight hours after she went to hospital with a fractured pelvisHer condition deteriorated over the next two months
16:13 GMT, 22 June 2012
A 102-year-old woman is believed to have become the oldest person to successfully sue the NHS, it has emerged.
Lydia Eaton won her case at the High Court this week after a judge agreed the centenarian would still be able to walk if she had not prematurely been discharged from hospital.
Elaine Griffin, 72, with her mother Lydia Eaton, 102, who has been awarded 35,000 compensation
Great-great-grandmother Lydia was 97 when she fractured her pelvis in a fall at her Wigmore home, in Kent, in February 2007, and was taken to hospital for treatment.
But medics discharged previously fit and mobile Lydia from Medway Maritime Hospital A&E department after just eight hours allowing her condition to deteriorate over next two months, both physically and mentally.
In April the same year she had to be moved to the specialist care home in Sittingbourne, Kent.
Lydia’s daughter Elaine Griffin, of Walderslade, brought the case on Mrs Eaton’s behalf, claiming she would have still have been able to walk and get around had she received proper treatment.
Lawyers also argued the patient would also not have had to be transferred to the specialist care centre in Newington where she now lives.
A High Court judge has now awarded Mrs Eaton 35,000 compensation after finding in favour of the complainant.
It is believed the widower is now the oldest patient to ever receive an NHS pay-out.
Her daughter Mrs Griffin, 72, of Sittingbourne, revealed despite the victory she had not told her mother about the case, adding: 'It’s not about the money.'
Lydia Eaton was discharged from Medway Maritime Hospital after just eight hours despite fracturing her pelvis
She said: 'She was given very strong painkillers which just made her ill and she lost an awful lot of weight. She also developed sores and ulcers.
'At the end of the day I kept asking questions and did not get answers which made me angry and frustrated.
'I started writing letters to the NHS and in the end I was advised to take legal advice.
'My mother would not have had to move to another home which cost an awful lot more.
'We were also never given proper advice on how to look after my mother.'
Mrs Griffin also praised staff at both the care homes, which have cared for her elderly mother.
She said: 'They have kept her alive and in good spirits against all odds.
'I did not tell my mother about the legal proceedings because it would have distressed her.
'It’s not about the money. It’s about a legacy for my mother.'
The compensation payout approved by Judge Sweeney, sitting in the High Court on Tuesday, will be placed in a trust fund.