Widow, 101, died after breaking both of her legs when a care worker forcefully swung her out of bed

Widow, 101, died after breaking both of her legs when a care worker forcefully swung her out of bed, inquest hears

  • Emily Sims, was a retired cleaner and lived at Cornwall Care Home Antron Manor
  • She suffered broken legs leading to her death after care worker mishandled her 
  • An inquest concluded that Mrs Sims’s death came as a direct result of the actions of the care-worker

A 101-year-old woman died after she was swung out of bed by a care worker, breaking both her legs, an inquest heard.

Emily Sims, a retired cleaner, was a resident at Antron Manor Care Home in Cornwall and was becoming increasingly fragile in her old age.

But a coroner heard care worker Beryl Allen, who has since died of natural causes, was rough with Mrs Sims and forcefully swung her out of bed – causing catastrophic injuries.

An inquest concluded that Mrs Sims’s death came as a direct result of the actions of the care-worker, who worked at the home in Mabe, near Penryn, Cornwall.

Emily Sims. A 101-year-old woman died after she was swung out of bed by a care worker, breaking both her legs, an inquest heard

Emily Sims. A 101-year-old woman died after she was swung out of bed by a care worker, breaking both her legs, an inquest heard

Assistant Cornwall coroner Guy Davies led the hearing, held in Truro, which saw video footage of Mrs Sims filmed on an iPad by her 80-year-old niece, Sheila Handley.

Antron Manor Care Home in Mabe, near Penryn, Cornwall

Antron Manor Care Home in Mabe, near Penryn, Cornwall

The video was filmed after she was admitted to the trauma ward at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, and shows the elderly woman visibly in discomfort.

She could be seen telling her niece that Mrs Allen had grabbed her by the ankles and swung her around leading her to fall from her bed to the floor, causing her injuries.

Mrs Sims said: ‘She ought not be a carer – she’s too heavy handed.’

Mrs Handley took the footage to police, who then conducted a bedside interview with Mrs Sims at Treliske.

She again repeated the allegations, which she also made when paramedics had arrived at the care home on October 27.

Mrs Sims told her niece that Mrs Allen had grabbed her by the ankles and swung her around leading her to fall from her bed to the floor, causing her injuries

 Mrs Sims told her niece that Mrs Allen had grabbed her by the ankles and swung her around leading her to fall from her bed to the floor, causing her injuries

She told paramedics, while indicating to Mrs Allen: ‘It’s that one there, she’s too rough with me, she pulls me around.’

Police then interviewed Mrs Allen who told them that Mrs Sims’s allegation was not true.

She said that, after coming to the end of a night shift from 8pm to 8am, she entered Mrs Sims’s room at 7.30am and took the old lady’s arms and helped her to sit up in bed.

Emily Sims with Ken Rogers, the then Proprietor of Antron Manor, on Emily's 100th Birthday

Emily Sims with Ken Rogers, the then Proprietor of Antron Manor, on Emily’s 100th Birthday

She turned around to grab a turntable to help Mrs Sims move to a commode and found that the 101-year-old had slipped to the floor.

She denied she had rushed the process and also denied grabbing the elderly resident by the ankles and swinging her out of bed.

Following the results of a post mortem, Mrs Allen was interviewed again but refused to answer police questions.

DC Simon Rafferty told the inquest that police had reviewed the case twice and decided not to present it to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The results of two medical experts supported Mrs Sims’s claims.

Dr Deborah Cook, a forensic pathologist, said that the bilateral spiral fractures Mrs Sims received to her left and right thigh bones after she fell to the floor were not consistent with a simple mechanical fall as described by Mrs Allen.

An inquest concluded that Emily's death came as a direct result of the actions of the care-worker, who worked at the home in Mabe, near Penryn, Cornwall

An inquest concluded that Emily’s death came as a direct result of the actions of the care-worker, who worked at the home in Mabe, near Penryn, Cornwall

The stress of the fractures caused a perforated duodenal ulcer which led to her death at Treliske on November 1, 2017.

Dr Cook felt the injuries were more likely to be sustained by the rotational force described by Mrs Sims.

A forensic radiologist, Dr Iain E Gibb, agreed that the injuries were not consistent with the care worker’s account but fitted with Emily’s claims.

The inquest also heard evidence from care workers at Antron Manor, one of whom said of Mrs Allen: ‘She got people out of bed far too quickly.

‘In the time I would have woken two residents up, Beryl may have done up to ten.’

Summing up, Mr Davies said: ‘The medical evidence clearly supports Emily’s account.

‘Both medical experts agreed that her injuries were consistent with the account given by Emily but not by Mrs Allen.’

Emily Sims was a resident at Antron Manor Care Home and was becoming increasingly fragile in her old age

Emily Sims was a resident at Antron Manor Care Home and was becoming increasingly fragile in her old age

Stating that neglect had been a contributory factor in Mrs Sims’s death, Mr Davies added: ‘It was more than a simple error of judgement – it was a deliberate act and gross failure. She was manhandled out of bed.

‘Emily died from complications from fractures sustained when she was held by the ankles and swung out of bed.

‘Whilst she had a frailty of health, it is clear there was neglect by the manner in which she was moved by the night carer which was more than likely to cause injury.’

Earlier in the hearing, Antron Manor’s current managing director Rebecca Wood said that many of these changes had already been made.

After the inquest, Mrs Sims’s niece thanked the coroner and police for their handling of the case.

Mrs Sims was a widow with no children, who loved football and will be missed by her remaining family.

Niece Sheila Handley, 79, from Gweek, Cornwall, said: ‘She was quite a modern woman, especially considering her age. She would get her hair done every week.

‘She was a gutsy person and she spoke her mind as most East enders do. She had a husband who she adored, Frank, but he died some time ago.

‘She will be missed by us, she was a remarkable woman.

‘I was very pleased with the hearing and the way it came out.’

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