An investigation is under way at a hospital in Cumbria after a woman died weeks after being “dropped” from an operating table.

Jeanette Shields, 70, was dropped on the floor after a routine operation at the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle, according to her husband, John Shields.

She was being treated after breaking her hip while at the hospital with gall stones.

“I was told the operation went well but there’s been a serious incident where they dropped my wife on the floor,” Johns Shields said.

He said that he was first informed by hospital staff in a phone call late in the evening of the day of the incident, but North Cumbria integrated care NHS foundation trust have said they are not in a position to confirm any details regarding the case while an inquiry is ongoing.

The trust said an investigation was under way “in relation to an incident involving a patient in one of our theatres” and that regulators have been informed.

A spokesperson for the trust added: “The outcome of the investigation will also determine any further action that we will need to take. We remain in regular contact with the patient’s family.”

However, John Shields claimed this was not the case and that he had not had any communication with the hospital since he was called to Cumberland Infirmary for an interview about the incident with senior trust staff on 11 April.

Shields was rushed to the hospital’s intensive care unit and spent time on a ventilator “before deteriorating and passing away” six weeks later.

John Shields said: “Before she passed, my wife told me and my daughters, ‘you take this further for what they’ve done to me’.”

Shields said he was “heartbroken” to have lost his “dear wife”. The pair were planning their golden anniversary celebrations for December of this year.

According to Shields, his wife broke her hip after leaving her hospital bed to go to the toilet by herself. “She pressed the buzzer for an hour and she got no attention.”

Speaking about the operation, he said: “They should be made accountable. That’s my wife, not a piece of meat that they’ve dropped on the floor.

“It could happen to somebody else if nobody says anything.”

John Shields confirmed that he has hired a medical negligence solicitor and is considering pursuing a claim pending the outcome of the investigation.