Son of injured dementia patient asks: "How would he have injured his whole face so badly?"

A concerned son is seeking an investigation into how his father came to suffer horrendous injuries while staying in an NHS assessment unit in Milton Keynes.

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 5:00 pm

Warning: Some readers may find these images distressing

William Murray, 81, had severe bruising to most of his face, two black eyes, and an egg-sized bump of his head when son Bill visited him a week after he arrived at the Topas Unit in Bletchley.

Bill was told the injuries were as a result of Mr Murray falling in a corridor. But he refuses to believe that, and nearly a year later is still asking for answers.


Health bosses say that they investigated at the time and discussed the situation with a family member.

He tried asking his dad what happened Mr Murray, who was a dementia patient, could not remember.

Sadly Mr Murray died in June, almost five months after he sustained the injuries.

Although the death was not believed to be related to the fall, Bill still cannot get the sight of the injuries out of his mind.


"I just don't understand how such awful injuries could be caused by a fall. My dad walked very slowly indeed and if he'd fallen he would have landed on his knees.

"How would he have injured his whole face so badly? They were the type of injuries you see in the paper when someone has been badly beaten up."

Bill has even asked police to investigate but says they have refused to take on the case as a crime.

Topas, which stands for 'The Older Person's Assessment Service', is run by the Central North West London NHS Trust (CNWL) and is based at the Water Hall Care Centre in Fern Grove.

It has 20 beds and is staffed by qualified psychiatric nurses and healthcare assistants.

A spokesman for CNWL said this week: “The photographs are shocking and it is hard for anyone, let alone a grieving family, to appreciate how much bruising a fall can cause; so it is easy to understand why someone would believe these bruises came from something more than a fall but our investigation showed that this was not the case."

They added: "Following the fall Mr Murray was seen straightaway by the nursing team, he was assessed for any immediate injuries and his condition was closely monitored . He was also seen by a doctor and was subsequently transferred to Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

“At the hospital he had a scan of his head and was seen by a specialist eye doctor. He was found to be well.

“We were in touch with a family member at the time and discussed the situation with this individual. However we are aware that this may not have been communicated to all family members and we are sorry about that.

“Having reviewed the care we gave to Mr Murray, we consider that the assessment and treatment provided to Mr Murray at the time was clinically appropriate.

“We’re sorry to hear of Mr Murray’s death and offer condolences to the family.”