Pensioner who died after fall at care home 'lay on the floor bleeding for up to 10 minutes because Muslim nurse was praying'

An elderly woman who suffered a fall was left lying on the floor at  a care home for up to ten minutes because a senior nurse was  praying, an inquest heard.

Abdul Bhutto, an agency nurse, told junior staff they would have to wait until he finished before he would attend to 87-year-old Dorothy  Griffiths, who died nine days later.

Mrs Griffiths, who suffered from  Alzheimer’s, was left on the floor while the Muslim nurse continued to pray on his mat.

Eventually he arrived and examined the pensioner before telling carers to put  her back to bed. She was later found unresponsive and was taken to hospital.

Mrs Griffiths had cut her head and gashed her hip when she fell from her bed during the night and was found on the floor when staff rushed to her room after hearing a loud bang.

A carer went to the care home’s office for help to lift her but Mr Bhutto, who was in charge, said they would have to wait until he had finished his prayers.

Carer Zoe Shaw told the inquest: ‘It took between five and ten  minutes because he was praying. A staff member told me we had to wait for him to finish.’

The inquest heard Mr Bhutto was the most senior nurse on duty.

He examined Mrs Griffiths on the floor but did not call an ambulance and instructed carers to put her back to bed.

But instead Mrs Shaw, worried that she might fall again, washed the pensioner, dressed her and sat with her in the office.

At about 5.45am she took Mrs Griffiths to the lounge and said she appeared to be well and was ‘talking fine’ and walking around.

But at breakfast time Mrs Griffiths was found to be unresponsive and an ambulance was called at about 7.30am.

Mrs Shaw, who broke down and wept during her evidence, said she would have called an ambulance immediately after the fall.

She said that as a carer she did not realise she could and since this incident she had discovered staff could override a nurse’s decision. Mrs Griffiths, a former pub landlady and the widow of former Barnsley footballer Steve Griffiths, had been a resident at the  privately-run Valley Park Nursing Home in Wombwell, near Barnsley, since 2009 and died in hospital on November 3.

Mr Bhutto failed to appear at  the inquest in Sheffield and a  summons had to be issued for him to attend later in the year.

The court heard he had been contacted and denied being senior nurse that night.

After the hearing was adjourned, Mrs Griffiths’s daughter Jean David, 61, said the family had been put through more grief due to the nurse not turning up.

Mrs David added: ‘You put your trust in these people.

‘What would happen if there was a fire, would they then stop praying?’

It is understood Mrs Griffiths died from a brain haemorrhage and pneumonia although this has yet to be confirmed.

A spokesman for the home, which is run by the Mimosa Healthcare Group, declined to comment.


Sourced from the Daily Mail, 24th March 2012.