Grieving daughter gets apology from council after raising welfare concerns of dad living at Fulwood care home
Lancashire County Council were forced to apologise and pay compensation to a grieving woman who had raised multiple concerns about her dad's welfare whilst he resided at a Fulwood care home.
The woman, identified as 'Miss C' in a report by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, had complained about the quality of care that her late father had been given during his time at Sherwood Lodge, Fulwood.
The investigation found that although the care home acted appropriately in most instances, it had failed to complete its hourly observations on the elderly gentleman on a day that he had fallen over twice and suffered a head injury.
Her dad had been living at the care home, off Sherwood Way, when a number of worrying incidents had caused her to call for an investigation before his death in May last year.
The care home is currently advertising that it has vacancies for residents on signage outside the home.
The woman also complained that the council had completed a safeguarding enquiry which was 'a waste of time', where nothing was done about the numerous concerns of neglect she had reported.
She had reported two occasions where she claims she had found her dad had soiled himself, an incident where he had suffered skin tears having fallen off the toilet and a further two incidents where he was found with injuries on the floor of his bedroom.
Last month, Lancashire County Council were ordered to apologise to her and pay her compensation after the ombudsman report found that although the safeguarding enquiry addressed concerns about service improvements needed, it wrongly concluded the care home followed its observation policy when it hadn't.
In the report, the ombudsman had assessed the six different incidents the woman had complained about, before ruling that care home staff had made errors and that the Lancashire County Council had wrongly concluded the care home followed their own policies.
It was also cited that Miss C said the investigation and worries about her father's welfare had affected her mental health.
But the report also found that in other instances, the care home did follow its procedures correctly and reacted appropriately to the concerns about 'Mr D'.
Two incidents in the report referred to Miss C saying she had found her father soiled in his bed and that nobody came after pressing the buzzer for help - but the report found that there was no evidence to suggest he had been left soiled and that staff acted appropriately having given him a full body wash that day.
In the incident where he had fallen off the toilet and scraped his skin, the report found that the care home staff had completed the safeguarding concern checklist and dressed his wound before referring him to physiotherapy support.
Two other incidents recorded that her elderly father had suffered injuries from two falls on the same day, and that the care home had failed to complete its hourly observations after a head injury.
But the Council was found at fault after concluding in its safeguarding enquiry that the care home had followed the correct procedures when it hadn't.
On the same evening that her father had returned from hospital, on an inspection at 9:30 pm, a carer had found him lying on his bedroom floor with a head injury and blood on the floor.
The ombudsman’s report stated: “Miss C complained about the quality of care her late father, Mr D, received at the care home in which he was a resident.
“Miss C says she raised concerns about several incidents where she believes her father was neglected. She adds the council completed a safeguarding enquiry which was a waste of time and nothing was done about the neglect she reported.
“Miss C says it has affected her mental health. She also believes the neglect Mr D suffered led to his death."
The ombudsman ruled the council had caused injustice to Miss C because of the mistakes in the safeguarding enquiry, with council bosses apologising and paying her £200 in compensation.
Tony Pounder, director of adult services for Lancashire County Council, said: "We're very sorry for any distress that has been caused to Mrs C from this incident and have paid £200 to remedy the injustice.
"The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is happy the incident has now been resolved.
"It is also happy we have carried out the agreed actions set out in the report to ensure incidents like this don't happen in the future.
"The ombudsman has now ended its involvement with this case."
A spokesperson from Sherwood Lodge said: “We offer our sympathies to the family. We do not comment on individual cases, but it is worth noting that the accusation of neglect was not upheld.
Our team delivers the highest standards of care and is rated Good by the Care Quality Commission.”
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