Care home owners refuse to refund family despite investigation finding mother was neglected
A Yorkshire care provider has been heavily criticised by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman after workers abused and neglected an elderly resident in the Bradford home it ran.
The woman, who had dementia, moved to live in Hawthornes Care Home, run by Burlington Care, after her husband became seriously ill.
While living in the home the woman was subject to verbal abuse and rough handling and was left unattended for long periods. Her daughters said she was often left fully clothed in bed, her room smelled of urine, and on one occasion faeces was seen under her nails.
Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said:
“Choosing a care home can be an incredibly stressful time for families. Relatives want to know they are choosing a place where their loved one is cared for in the best possible way.
“It is then all-the-more distressing when their loved one is let down by the very people who should be looking after them properly. In this case, this woman’s care fell below the basic standards we would all expect for our loved ones throughout her stay, and she was not treated with empathy, compassion or respect.
“I asked Burlington Care Ltd to waive the full care fees for the few months she lived in their home. I am issuing this report because the provider has instead offered a derisory one week’s refund. This is not good enough and does not show sufficient appreciation of the serious impact its lack of care had on this woman and her family.”
The woman’s daughters live some distance away from their mother. They became concerned about the quality of care their mother was receiving and hid a recording device in her room. When they listened to the recording, they heard verbal abuse from one of her care workers.
The recording also showed their mother was left unattended for 12 hours.
The daughters complained to the care home, and its own internal investigation found the care plan it had for the woman was poor, that there had been no evidence her room had been deep cleaned or the beds changed, that there was evidence the woman often put herself to bed fully clothed and it was likely she slept in her clothes.
The investigation also found that faeces was found under her nails due to a lack of personal care and that there was no evidence of interaction between the woman and her care workers.
A safeguarding investigation by the local council agreed there had been poor care provision, inadequate leadership, probable neglect and a disregard for the woman’s dignity. It also found that during internal inspections staff were encouraged to keep the woman out of the inspector’s way.
To address the findings of both investigations, the care provider said a number of measures had been put in place, including dismissing a care worker, appointing a new manager and that training had taken place.
Because the provider has failed to comply with the recommendations, the Ombudsman has issued a public report, or Adverse Findings Notice against the provider. The report has also been shared with care regulator, the Care Quality Commission.
Latest News from
Draft Public Service Ombudsman Bill laid in Parliament05/12/2016 12:37:21
A new complaints body will provide the public with greater confidence that their voices have been heard.
Council makes serious unsubstantiated allegations about asylum seeker during Ombudsman investigation23/01/2020 12:15:00
Sandwell council refused to let a vulnerable mother have her representative present at an important meeting – and made serious and unsubstantiated allegations about both of them during an investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
Nottinghamshire man’s care package reduced because of financial pressures, Ombudsman finds23/01/2020 09:15:00
A Nottinghamshire man with autism was left relying on his parents to part-fund his care when the county council cut his package without identifying a suitable alternative, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.
Ombudsman reminds councils of their foster carer school transport duties17/01/2020 13:20:00
Councils across England are being reminded about the financial support they must provide to foster carers’ school transport expenses following an investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman into Wolverhampton council.
Ombudsman issues rare further report into Medway Council17/01/2020 12:20:00
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has made the rare move to issue a further report because Medway Council has not implemented the Ombudsman's recommendations or followed the correct process to disagree with them.
Ombudsman finds multiple failures with Richmond children’s services provider15/01/2020 09:15:00
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has strongly criticised Richmond council’s children’s service provider, Achieving for Children, for not effectively supporting children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
Ombudsman highlighting the human cost of poor housing benefit practice09/01/2020 14:15:00
Families are facing the very real prospect of becoming homeless because of the way some authorities are dealing with appeals against housing benefit claims, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is warning.
Young family left homeless by Haringey benefits blunder08/01/2020 10:25:00
A young family, including a disabled child, had to leave their home following a miscalculation of their housing benefits by London Borough of Haringey, reports the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
Pregnant homeless woman left to sleep on hard floor by LB Tower Hamlets07/01/2020 11:15:00
A pregnant woman, who approached Tower Hamlets council for help when she was made homeless, was left in an unfurnished flat, miles from her support network, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.