Sisters in payout for late mum’s fall

Sheila Wagstaff
Sheila Wagstaff

GRIEVING daughters of a woman who died months after a fall from an Ambuline vehicle, have paid tribute to their “wonderful mum”.

Sheila Wagstaff, 76, died from pneumonia due to immobility, 11 months after she broke both legs when she fell while being loaded by a member of Ambuline staff into the patient transport vehicle outside Chesterfield Royal Hospital in February 2008.

Sharon Brightmore with her sisters Angela Fisher and Lorraine Hart, following the death of their mother Sheila Wagstaff.

Sharon Brightmore with her sisters Angela Fisher and Lorraine Hart, following the death of their mother Sheila Wagstaff.

She was taken to her Brimington bungalow where one of her daughters, Angela Fisher, 53, was waiting to welcome her from hospital where she had been treated for a skin infection.

“She had looked the best she had for ages during the end of her time there,” said Angela, a community staff nurse. “But when she got back home she was grey, and she was shaking. You could tell she was in agony.”

Within three hours, Sheila was back at Chesterfield Royal being treated for two broken legs, where she remained until her death in December 2008.

“We could see that she was never going to be independent again,” said daughter Sharon Brightmore, 56 from Newbold who – alongside sisters Lorraine Hart, 50, and Angela from Brimington – has been awarded £30,000 in an out-of-court settlement from Ambuline Ltd and Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

“Before the accident she was able to walk about her bungalow and she got about quite independently, but she couldn’t even stand up after.”

Sharon added: “The idea was to try and gain some financial support for when she came home, but she died before that came to any kind of conclusion.”

Now the sisters are trying to put their ordeal behind them.

Angela, said: “We haven’t really been able to grieve because of all this, but we just want to thank her for being a wonderful mum.”

Sharon, a nurse at Chesterfield Royal, added: “Everybody is human and accidents happen, but we just can’t believe how brave she was in those last 11 months of her life that she spent in hospital.”

They thanked Ian Scott, the orthopaedic surgeon who treated Sheila, as well as the hospital chaplain, John Butterfield.

A spokesperson for the hospital, said: “We work closely with our patient transport contractors to provide patients with safe services and it is always disappointing when an incident occurs that puts this safety at risk. A full investigation was carried out by Ambuline at the time Mrs Wagstaff fell and changes to working practices were instigated as a result.”

Nobody from Ambuline was available to comment.

By Ellie Hunter