No5 barrister represents family of woman who died after contracting norovirus

No5 Chambers barrister Jamie Gamble has represented the family of a woman who contracted norovirus and died after a stay in hospital for a bruised elbow.

Christine Walker, 86, of Silverton, Devon, was admitted to Cheltenham General Hospital after a fall on 17 March last year. She contracted norovirus and died on 10 April.

An inquest at Gloucestershire Coroner’s Court heard that Mrs Walker had a bruised elbow but was kept in for observation due to her age and frail health.

The day after being admitted, Mrs Walker was moved to a different ward and then wasn’t seen by a doctor until 21 March. The family of Mrs Walker were not happy about the nursing care on the ward. The inquest heard that a mixture of ward staff, agency staff and bank staff were covering the ward and that at times the hospital was struggling to meet minimum staffing levels.

Gamble, who was representing her son, Mr Walker, told the inquest it was ‘highly likely’ that Mrs Walker caught the virus on the ward.

Katy Skerrett, Gloucestershire coroner, recorded a narrative verdict. She said: ‘This woman was admitted to hospital having suffered a fall. She was frail due to her age and various other health issues.

‘She was not seen by the medic team for three days, during which she had norovirus. The delay seems to be after she contracted the virus.

‘There were staffing pressures at the hospital and there was a medley of trust, agency and bank staff working in what was a temporary winter ward.

‘After a discussion with the family she was placed on the LCP. She died on 10 April. I offer my sincere condolences to her family.’