Husband calls for answers after wife 'dropped' from hospital operating table dies

  • Video report by Matthew Taylor.

A bereaved husband who says his wife died after being dropped from an operating table during surgery is calling for answers.

Jeannette Shields, 70, went into the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle for routine gallstone treatment in March. On the day she was due to be discharged she fell from her hospital bed and broke her hip.

During surgery to repair the hip a few days later, her family say she was 'dropped' from the operating table onto the floor. She died in the hospital seven weeks later.

Jeannette's husband, John Shields, said: "My daughter Vikki noticed a big bump on the back of her head.

"I demanded another scan on her head which we didn't get. And from then she just deteriorated."

"They let my wife down, yes. Definitely let my wife down. She begged and prayed on me and my daughters to pursue this matter. She said 'don't let them away with what they've done to me'."

Mr Shields says his wife only broke her hip in the first place because she had been buzzing for help from nurses for over an hour and had got out of bed herself.

The couple were planning to celebrate their gold anniversary in December. Credit: ITV Border

John says the hospital has not explained how either of the falls occurred, calling their care neglectful. He said: "It's just neglect to a patient. It could happen to anybody. It shouldn't happen to people.

"It was our Golden Wedding in December and we were looking forward to that, but we can't have that now. It's gone."

He also says that the hospital refused to have a post-mortem examination and they only agreed when he made the request.

The Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle. Credit: ITV Border

At the moment it is not clear exactly what caused Mrs Shields' death.

In a statement NHS Trust bosses said: "An investigation is currently underway in relation to an incident involving a patient in one of our theatres. Our regulators are aware of the investigation. We are unable to comment on ongoing investigations."

The statement added: "The outcome of the investigation will also determine any further action that the hospital might take. We remain in regular contact with the patient's family."