Jean Warne was a strong, lively, 74 year old woman who had survived breast cancer but was left prone to falls. She was admitted to hospital following a fall but her health deteriorated rapidly and she died six weeks later.

Jean received appalling care while in hospital. She was put in a seat in the mornings where she was left to sit during the day. Her family were distressed that she was often left in soiled clothes. Jean couldn’t raise her arms to eat so, unless her family fed her themselves, her food would be taken away uneaten. Jean also told staff of pain in her neck which was so bad that she would scream out during the night. Hospital staff were slow to respond to her cries for help and finally decided to put Jean in a private room because she was keeping other patients awake at night. The hospital staff had failed to spot that Jean had developed an abscess which had partially paralysed her. By the time doctors realised, it was too late to help Jean and she died shortly after an aborted attempt to give her surgery.

Jean’s family relied on human rights law to challenge the appalling treatment she received, hold the hospital accountable and ensure practice changes so that other patients and families do not experience the pain and suffering Jean and her family did.