Briarwood carer accused of scalding patient says she did not bathe resident

Nipahawan Berry of Preston, Lancs., arriving at Preston Crown Court.
Nipahawan Berry of Preston, Lancs., arriving at Preston Crown Court.
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A carer accused of causing scalds to a 99-year-old patient by lowering her into a hot bath told police she had not bathed the woman at the time she sustained her injuries.

And her boss denied using a “big metal spoon” to force feed residents who were reluctant to eat.

Carer Niphawan Berry, 42, denies causing grievous bodily harm by putting Margaret Wheatley into a hot bath at the Briarwood Rest Home in Lostock Hall.

The jury at Preston Crown Court has also been hearing police interviews given by the home’s directors Indranee and Meghadeven Pumbien, 64, and carer Berry following their arrests on suspicion of neglect and ill treatment of patients in their care.

Indranee Pumbien, 59, who was in charge of the day-to-day care of the residents, is accused of force feeding several of the patients. But she said she had not force fed anyone.

A number of allegations were put to Mrs Pumbien during interviews in November 2014.

One carer, Nicola Garstang, told officers she had seen a carer shouting at a resident and had been shown a lifting technique in which an elderly woman was dragged by two carers, holding her under her arms, as the woman shouted: “You’re hurting me.”

Mrs Pumbien denied that such a technique was used and insisted correct handling equipment was available.

However police said an occupational therapist’s assessment of the home conducted in June 2014 found there was no hoist available on the first floor and the only hoist in the building had no charger. The only sling that appeared to be available was too big and smeared with faeces, the report found.

Berry, of Christ Church Street, Preston, denies GBH and a single count of ill treatment. Mr and Mrs Pumbien, of Grosvenor Place, Ashton, deny a total of 19 counts of neglect and ill treatment in respect of eight patients aged between 88 and 99 years old.