"This is place is going to kill me"

Various topics from various news sources regarding elder abuse.

"This is place is going to kill me"

Postby Admin » Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:25 am

The full horror suffered by dementia patients at a scandal-hit care home was revealed yesterday.

Elderly residents at Merok Park in Banstead, Surrey, were starved by callous staff and ignored when they were in distress, while conditions were so filthy that inspectors found mould growing on the walls and an ‘overpowering’ stench of urine.

Many patients were manhandled by staff and their screams were heard by people in houses nearby, who feared the elderly residents were being tortured and called the police.

The shocking findings were reported by the Care Quality Commission yesterday after the Mail campaigned for authorities to come clean about abuse at the home.

We revealed the identity of great-grandfather Alfred Dodd, 85, who died of pneumonia 48 hours after Merok Park was suddenly closed at night in the freezing cold in December. For more than a month, officials refused to reveal his name or how he died.

The Mail also told how Winifred Lake, 91, died of hypertension less than a fortnight after being moved from Grantley Court care home in Sutton – which shared owners with Merok Park and was also closed in disgrace.

It can now be disclosed that another 91-year-old former resident died last week after deteriorating terribly at Merok Park. Jessie Collins’s family believe she would still be alive were she never placed at the home. While the CQC’s damning review of Merok Park was welcomed, victims’ families said the watchdog was a ‘disgrace’ for ever allowing the home to neglect their loved ones.

There were also questions over why it has taken two months to publish the report.

The CQC inspected Merok Park in late November and early December last year after a whistleblower spoke out about the care there. Inspectors found awful conditions.

Yesterday’s report outlined how residents were made to wash in cold water and some were trapped on an upper floor for a month after a lift broke. At times there was only one nurse to look after 27 patients, who were left without food and ignored when clearly in distress.

Inspectors observed staff being rough with the vulnerable residents, who had dementia, brain injuries or mental health problems.

The watchdog yesterday declared the home ‘inadequate’ in all categories. Its report stated: ‘We saw many examples of people being treated in an uncaring manner. We observed staff being rough and ignoring people who were in distress. Staff did not treat people as though they mattered.’

It added: ‘The provider did not take any action to ensure people were treated with care, respect and dignity and lived in an environment that was caring, fit for purpose, free from risk and free from infection.’

The report noted how one patient told inspectors: ‘This place is going to kill me.’ Another said: ‘I don’t ask for help any more. I sit around and cry.’ Another thirsty patient asked for a drink but was ignored.

Dr Ros Altmann, the Government’s advisor on the elderly, last night told the Mail: ‘You cannot believe this is going on in a civilised society. We have a major problem here. We are constantly trying to provide care on the cheap, but it is not good and people suffer.’

Last night, Keith Brown, 64, who lives next door to the care home, said he even called the police to report residents yelling – but was told this was normal at care homes.

‘I heard a lot of crying and screaming, calling for the police,’ he said. ‘It was like they were being tortured. It was terrible. It would go on for hours and hours. They were screaming to get out.’

Simon Bottery, director of policy at Independent Age, a charity which campaigns for improved quality of life for elderly people, said: ‘It’s essential we tackle the unacceptable care that was discovered at Merok Park. There is no excuse for the neglect and ill-treatment residents suffered.’

A spokesman for the CQC said: ‘The CQC is sorry the residents and their families suffered distress as a consequence of the provider’s failure in care, the consequent need to take urgent action, and that the arrangements made by the council for the safe and efficient transport of the people living at Merok Park didn’t take place in the way that those agencies had planned.’

Merok Park and Grantley Court are owned by millionaire Mauritian businessman Soondressen Cooppen and his wife Maleenee. They live in a £2.5million home in South-West London. Asked to comment last month, Mrs Cooppen said: ‘We are not interested.’

48 hours after care home move, grandfather was dead
With his doting granddaughter by his side, Alfred Dodd celebrated turning 85 on Christmas Day in 2013. Although fragile and bruised, he was surrounded by cards and a birthday balloon from his adoring family.

Less than a year later, Mr Dodd died after being forced out of his care home on one of the coldest nights of the year.

The great-grandfather’s death was shrouded in secrecy with a coroner deciding not to hold an inquest into his death and authorities refusing to reveal his name.

Mr Dodd, who was known to friends as Mick, died from pneumonia less than 48 hours after the upheaval of the move from Merok Park in Banstead, Surrey.

His formal causes of death include bronchopneumonia, a lung infection usually linked to a cold or flu. He also had prostate cancer and a urine infection.

Last month, his family called for the Care Quality Commission to answer urgent questions about why the ‘terrible’ evacuation was ordered with such little notice.

Their call is echoed by the family of Winifred Lake, a 91-year-old great-grandmother who died less than two weeks after she was suddenly moved from the care home where she had lived for 25 years.

They believe she would still be alive if she was not forced out so suddenly.

Mr Dodd, who was married to Barbara, 75, had a son, two daughters, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The former office manager had become desperately unwell with dementia and was taken to hospital just over a year ago.

While his family were reluctant to have him put in full-time care, they eventually had him placed at Merok Park, with the costs covered in part by the family and by his pension.

Mr Dodd’s son Russell, 55, a construction manager from Chipstead, Surrey, said they were in ‘total shock’ to discover there had been official reports of an ‘overwhelming’ smell of urine at Merok Park with residents forced to bathe in cold water.

Despite the CQC’s findings, they believe inspectors should have managed a measured evacuation of the home, taking it over for a time before allowing residents to be moved when they were ready.

Instead, Mr Dodd’s son was told about the move just a few hours before it took place on December 9 last year.

Mr Dodd, who bruised easily and was suffering with a large pressure sore, was evacuated in the dark at about 5.30pm.

His son said: ‘Couldn’t somebody have moved into that home and looked after those people?

'Whoever made the decision to do what they did and the time of what they did, that was wrong. The CQC and social services – they are the people that have to answer the questions.’

Mr Dodd’s grandson Oliver, 17, added: ‘I don’t think it’s right to just shut the place down and chuck people out in the cold. He was already on the edge. That could have put him over the edge.’

Mr Dodd’s daughter Julie said they were assured by the coroner he died of natural causes and not because of the move.

Mrs Lake was at Grantley Court for nearly 25 years until the south London nursing home, which has the same owners as Merok Park, was evacuated on December 12, at two days’ notice.

Her family believe her death on Christmas Day, partly from hypertension, was caused by the upheaval. Tony Lake, 62, said he visited his mother the day after the move and noticed her anxiety.

He added: ‘From then on in she didn’t eat and she was reluctant to drink. The cause for her not being here now is the move,’ he said.

‘It was the suddenness of it – not being able to prepare for it. The swiftness of the move was too much stress and led to her sudden deterioration. They [the CQC] had known all that time but they left it until the last minute. Lessons need to be learnt from this.’

'This is place is going to kill me:' Shameful report reveals patients were left sleeping on floors, dropped by staff and force-fed meals

Merok Park care home promised its elderly and frail residents they would be respected, treated with dignity, and would be cared for as an individual.

But when inspectors arrived unannounced in November last year, and again in December, what they found was the complete opposite.

One bathroom had rubbish stacked head high, the floors were stained and sticky, residents were found smeared with faeces, and there was an 'overpowering' stench of urine.

One resident was found slumped asleep on the toilet, another had been sleeping on a mattress on the floor 'for wee', and inspectors watched as inept staff dropped one elderly person while trying to get them into a chair after being unable to operate a hoist.

In the most shocking episode, one resident told inspectors 'This place is going to kill me.'

Thanks to the Daily Mail - full article - here. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -died.html
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