Grieving daughter's anger over closure of care home safeguarding complaint

Grieving daughter's anger over care home safeguarding complaint

Grieving daughter's anger over care home safeguarding complaint

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

A grieving daughter was left furious after council officers tried to close safeguarding proceedings against her father’s care home, just two days after she reported his death.

Helen Crewdson had filed a complaint against Linwood Care Home in Thames Ditton, claiming her father, Robert William Cowan, was being neglected and had experienced dramatic weight loss.

But less than a week after he died, Mrs Crewdson, 41, received an email from a Surrey County Council officer suggesting her complaint be closed.

Having informed the authority of her father’s death on July 9, Rachel Croft, acting assistant senior manager for Elmbridge, replied on July 15, saying: “Thanks for your message, and please accept my condolences.

“I am assuming having not heard from you that you are happy with my proposal to close the safeguarding process regarding Linwood, and the complaint process.

“If I don’t hear from you within the next two weeks I will do this.”

Mrs Crewdson, who runs weight loss clinic Hypoxi Therapy Centre in Surbiton, said: “That is not acceptable.

“We have just been fobbed off. No one is willing to take responsibility.

“We are not able to fully grieve because we still have all this to deal with.”

The mother-of-two from Ewell had complained about the care home, run by Anchor, to the council’s social services.

She claimed Mr Cowan’s weight had dropped from 14 stone to just six stone in two years.

Mrs Crewdson also alleged the care home did not shower her father for weeks on end, did not make sure he ate and left him in his own faeces for hours.

She added her father was once found with a black eye, but she was never told how it had happened.

Mrs Crewdson said: “The neglect was awful. It was a catalogue of things that led to him getting so bad. I would not put my worst enemy in that place.”

Having suffered from dementia and leukaemia, Mr Cowan eventually died from pneumonia at Kingston Hospital, aged 72.

A Surrey County Council spokesman said: “We are looking into the events reported at this privately owned and managed care home and it would be inappropriate to comment further until we have done so.”

Edith Rushden, district manager for Linwood, said: “A full investigation is ongoing and the findings will be shared with the family of Mr Cowan and the local authority team in due course.”

She added a Care Quality Commission inspection report published in July had found residents were cared for safely and protected from any harm.

Comments (6)

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12:12pm Fri 5 Sep 14

helen59 says...

if it was that awful why did you leave your father there
if it was that awful why did you leave your father there helen59
  • Score: 8

1:59pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Red_Rock says...

If the facts reported are true Rachel Croft should be the subject of disciplinary action. Disgraceful behaviour in trying to force a grieving relative to close a complaint.
If the facts reported are true Rachel Croft should be the subject of disciplinary action. Disgraceful behaviour in trying to force a grieving relative to close a complaint. Red_Rock
  • Score: 10

11:12pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Truthsayer2 says...

The same has happened to me just down the road in leafy Reigate. My mother died in July. I visited her almost every day and kept a log book. The luxury 'care' home with its lush carpeting and expensive decor neglected my mother, left her isolated in her room for long periods and I found her in her room unable to raise the alarm as the door was shut. They were understaffed with one care assistant on duty for 13 rooms. It was a warm day and I found her suffering, lying on the bed and unable to move in a room with the underfloor heating full on and the room as hot as an oven heated up to over 36 degrees Celsius (heat measured 40 minutes after I rescued her and the door had been left open with time for the room to cool down.). CQC informed but never addressed the fact my mother suffered that day through wilful neglect or noted any of the other neglectful incidents, although they did ensure the care home modernized its alarm system and heating system. Other appalling incidents such as a glass of water frequently left out of reach, no call bell within reach, burnt toast for breakfast, left at night with curtains wide open and hearing aids left in her ears and one thin blanket on her at night when she was suffering a severe respiratory infection. Safeguarding team took over one month to set up a safeguarding professionals meetings and the only communication I received was a clumsy email from a grade 2 practitioner who communicated to me they were 'happy and had no concerns.' I complained and that was upheld and i received an apology. However, I still have no idea what was discussed at the closed meeting. Having been sent the minutes of the second meeting which I attended two months later I was forced to make a second complaint as it was littered with inaccuracies and anomalies. This complaint has been confirmed and is now under investigation. The care provider has been grossly arrogant in the way it has tried to cover up its poor practice and institutional abuse and sadly the Locality Team has shown my late mother scant respect in the course of investigating issues around safeguarding. I am also going to escalate this. These incidents need to be in the public domain and everyone who cares for a loved one living in a care home needs go there often and rely on their own instinct and report every single case of neglect.
The same has happened to me just down the road in leafy Reigate. My mother died in July. I visited her almost every day and kept a log book. The luxury 'care' home with its lush carpeting and expensive decor neglected my mother, left her isolated in her room for long periods and I found her in her room unable to raise the alarm as the door was shut. They were understaffed with one care assistant on duty for 13 rooms. It was a warm day and I found her suffering, lying on the bed and unable to move in a room with the underfloor heating full on and the room as hot as an oven heated up to over 36 degrees Celsius (heat measured 40 minutes after I rescued her and the door had been left open with time for the room to cool down.). CQC informed but never addressed the fact my mother suffered that day through wilful neglect or noted any of the other neglectful incidents, although they did ensure the care home modernized its alarm system and heating system. Other appalling incidents such as a glass of water frequently left out of reach, no call bell within reach, burnt toast for breakfast, left at night with curtains wide open and hearing aids left in her ears and one thin blanket on her at night when she was suffering a severe respiratory infection. Safeguarding team took over one month to set up a safeguarding professionals meetings and the only communication I received was a clumsy email from a grade 2 practitioner who communicated to me they were 'happy and had no concerns.' I complained and that was upheld and i received an apology. However, I still have no idea what was discussed at the closed meeting. Having been sent the minutes of the second meeting which I attended two months later I was forced to make a second complaint as it was littered with inaccuracies and anomalies. This complaint has been confirmed and is now under investigation. The care provider has been grossly arrogant in the way it has tried to cover up its poor practice and institutional abuse and sadly the Locality Team has shown my late mother scant respect in the course of investigating issues around safeguarding. I am also going to escalate this. These incidents need to be in the public domain and everyone who cares for a loved one living in a care home needs go there often and rely on their own instinct and report every single case of neglect. Truthsayer2
  • Score: 4

11:50am Sat 6 Sep 14

Red_Rock says...

Truthsayer2 wrote:
The same has happened to me just down the road in leafy Reigate. My mother died in July. I visited her almost every day and kept a log book. The luxury 'care' home with its lush carpeting and expensive decor neglected my mother, left her isolated in her room for long periods and I found her in her room unable to raise the alarm as the door was shut. They were understaffed with one care assistant on duty for 13 rooms. It was a warm day and I found her suffering, lying on the bed and unable to move in a room with the underfloor heating full on and the room as hot as an oven heated up to over 36 degrees Celsius (heat measured 40 minutes after I rescued her and the door had been left open with time for the room to cool down.). CQC informed but never addressed the fact my mother suffered that day through wilful neglect or noted any of the other neglectful incidents, although they did ensure the care home modernized its alarm system and heating system. Other appalling incidents such as a glass of water frequently left out of reach, no call bell within reach, burnt toast for breakfast, left at night with curtains wide open and hearing aids left in her ears and one thin blanket on her at night when she was suffering a severe respiratory infection. Safeguarding team took over one month to set up a safeguarding professionals meetings and the only communication I received was a clumsy email from a grade 2 practitioner who communicated to me they were 'happy and had no concerns.' I complained and that was upheld and i received an apology. However, I still have no idea what was discussed at the closed meeting. Having been sent the minutes of the second meeting which I attended two months later I was forced to make a second complaint as it was littered with inaccuracies and anomalies. This complaint has been confirmed and is now under investigation. The care provider has been grossly arrogant in the way it has tried to cover up its poor practice and institutional abuse and sadly the Locality Team has shown my late mother scant respect in the course of investigating issues around safeguarding. I am also going to escalate this. These incidents need to be in the public domain and everyone who cares for a loved one living in a care home needs go there often and rely on their own instinct and report every single case of neglect.
What a shocking story. You have my sincere sympathy. I hope you continue to escalate this to try to ensure no one else suffers in the same way. If I were you i would take it all the way to the European Court for Human Rights if you don't get satisfaction..
[quote][p][bold]Truthsayer2[/bold] wrote: The same has happened to me just down the road in leafy Reigate. My mother died in July. I visited her almost every day and kept a log book. The luxury 'care' home with its lush carpeting and expensive decor neglected my mother, left her isolated in her room for long periods and I found her in her room unable to raise the alarm as the door was shut. They were understaffed with one care assistant on duty for 13 rooms. It was a warm day and I found her suffering, lying on the bed and unable to move in a room with the underfloor heating full on and the room as hot as an oven heated up to over 36 degrees Celsius (heat measured 40 minutes after I rescued her and the door had been left open with time for the room to cool down.). CQC informed but never addressed the fact my mother suffered that day through wilful neglect or noted any of the other neglectful incidents, although they did ensure the care home modernized its alarm system and heating system. Other appalling incidents such as a glass of water frequently left out of reach, no call bell within reach, burnt toast for breakfast, left at night with curtains wide open and hearing aids left in her ears and one thin blanket on her at night when she was suffering a severe respiratory infection. Safeguarding team took over one month to set up a safeguarding professionals meetings and the only communication I received was a clumsy email from a grade 2 practitioner who communicated to me they were 'happy and had no concerns.' I complained and that was upheld and i received an apology. However, I still have no idea what was discussed at the closed meeting. Having been sent the minutes of the second meeting which I attended two months later I was forced to make a second complaint as it was littered with inaccuracies and anomalies. This complaint has been confirmed and is now under investigation. The care provider has been grossly arrogant in the way it has tried to cover up its poor practice and institutional abuse and sadly the Locality Team has shown my late mother scant respect in the course of investigating issues around safeguarding. I am also going to escalate this. These incidents need to be in the public domain and everyone who cares for a loved one living in a care home needs go there often and rely on their own instinct and report every single case of neglect.[/p][/quote]What a shocking story. You have my sincere sympathy. I hope you continue to escalate this to try to ensure no one else suffers in the same way. If I were you i would take it all the way to the European Court for Human Rights if you don't get satisfaction.. Red_Rock
  • Score: 2

12:13am Sun 7 Sep 14

Truthsayer2 says...

Thank you Red_Rock for your supportive words. The stress has been enormous and I have had to take time off work and seek counselling. Complaining to the care provider, Barchester Healthcare, has been a waste of time. They have behaved as though having had to now install a new heating system absolves them from all responsibility for my mothers suffering. My sympathies with Helen Crewdson also and everyone who has the courage and tenacity to speak out and not give up and take on care providers who manipulate and cover up the truth and make weak excuses for neglecting a vulnerable adult. That I was excluded from the safeguarding so-called 'professionals' meeting when I was the only witness to serious neglect was the worst decision social services could make. Thank you for that, I will escalate this to the national press and the court of human rights.
Thank you Red_Rock for your supportive words. The stress has been enormous and I have had to take time off work and seek counselling. Complaining to the care provider, Barchester Healthcare, has been a waste of time. They have behaved as though having had to now install a new heating system absolves them from all responsibility for my mothers suffering. My sympathies with Helen Crewdson also and everyone who has the courage and tenacity to speak out and not give up and take on care providers who manipulate and cover up the truth and make weak excuses for neglecting a vulnerable adult. That I was excluded from the safeguarding so-called 'professionals' meeting when I was the only witness to serious neglect was the worst decision social services could make. Thank you for that, I will escalate this to the national press and the court of human rights. Truthsayer2
  • Score: 3

11:21am Tue 9 Sep 14

Angela M says...

It seems to be luck of the draw with care homes. We were lucky with my late grandfather - he went to a specialist home for dementia sufferers in Cobham, and he was treated well. The only complaint we had was the occasional inappropriate meal (hotdogs for people with no teeth?!). He was always in good order regardless of what time we visited, and for the most part, the staff seemed to actually care.

I'm so sorry that there are bad care homes out there. It's not always easy to just remove your relative from these places. There is a lot of red tape involved, sometimes social services must be notified, an alternative place must be found, agreed and funded.

My family didn't have to sort out any of this ourselves - other families aren't so lucky.
It seems to be luck of the draw with care homes. We were lucky with my late grandfather - he went to a specialist home for dementia sufferers in Cobham, and he was treated well. The only complaint we had was the occasional inappropriate meal (hotdogs for people with no teeth?!). He was always in good order regardless of what time we visited, and for the most part, the staff seemed to actually care. I'm so sorry that there are bad care homes out there. It's not always easy to just remove your relative from these places. There is a lot of red tape involved, sometimes social services must be notified, an alternative place must be found, agreed and funded. My family didn't have to sort out any of this ourselves - other families aren't so lucky. Angela M
  • Score: 3
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