A CORONER said the death of a man with Alzheimer's who died after contracting an infection that had gone unnoticed by carers for some time was a 'learning experience' for staff. 

Leslie Lamb died aged 91 at Royal Lancaster Infirmary on October 19 2023 after he had contracted an infection through an 8mm-sized wound on his right elbow and then developed sepsis, the court heard.

Although the wound was small, a doctor's report submitted to the court said consultants could see down to the metalwork put in for an operation after a car crash years before. 

Assistant coroner Dr Nicholas Shaw said Mr Lamb had received the injury days prior to the Heron Hill Care staff ringing the paramedics.

Representatives from Heron Hill on Esthwaite Avenue, Kendal, said that the injury may have come from an unwitnessed fall.

Dr Shaw said: "I do not know if he had a fall or not. One of the effects of sepsis is to bruise more easily."

The coroner queried whether Mr Lamb could have injured himself by resting his elbows on a surface given his skin thinning with age.

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His daughter Sharon Lamb described her father as a 'lovely, family man.'

The court heard he was a shift manager at BAE in Barrow and converted to Catholicism after meeting his Irish-born wife at an ice cream parlour.

His daughter said he had a triple heart bypass in 1996, surgery after a car accident in 2009 and another operation in 2017. He cared for his wife who had COPD before she died in 2018, the court heard. 

Mr Lamb moved to Kendal Care Home in the summer of 2023.

The court heard that he moved to Heron Hill Care Home a short time before he died when his worsening dementia meant he started behaving inappropriately towards other residents. 

Although inquests do not attribute blame, the family wished to establish why the staff had not reported the wound before given that they were helping him dress and wash and that 'he could have had this injury for three or four days.' 

Summarising, Mr Shaw said: "He would have been absolutely horrified if he had seen ten years before what would happen to him. I'm not here to lay blame and I don't think we should in this case. It is a learning experience for the staff involved. I am sure the family would hope that they are learning in the care home."

Mr Shaw added: "We know there is a crisis in care."

Mr Shaw wrote a narrative conclusion for Mr Lamb's death into the record of the inquest.

He said: "He suffered from worsening dementia. It's most likely he developed an infection from sepsis. Despite treatment in hospital, he died from Bronchopneumonia three days after infection."