A SON has branded the treatment received by his elderly mother at a troubled Edinburgh care home “a disgrace” after she had to be admitted to hospital with dehydration.
Alex Hunter said he now did not want his 88-year-old mother Beatrice to return to the Bupa-run Pentland Hill Care Home in Corstorphine.
The home has been subject to a police investigation following the death of a resident in July.
Last month, the home was also heavily criticised in a Care Inspectorate report, and issued with a formal improvement notice. New admissions have been suspended and the inspectorate is investigating four complaints.
Mr Hunter said his mother had been at Pentland Hill for several years and had been in good health until June when she became bedridden, lost weight and then developed a bedsore.
When Mr Hunter raised concerns, the home responded in a letter, acknowledging failures in her care and pledging to address the family’s concerns.
The home admitted they could find no documented evidence that Mrs Hunter’s skin was assessed regularly before the sore developed.
The home’s manager wrote: “It is not acceptable for Mrs Hunter to have developed the pressure ulcer that she did as it is clear that all preventative measures were not put in place,”
The home also admitted that no action was taken until Mrs Hunter had lost a significant amount of weight and apologised for any distress caused. The letter went on: “Staff are closely monitoring Beatrice’s weight and her food and fluid intake to ensure any action can be taken quickly if anything within your mother’s condition changes.”
But Mr Hunter said five days later he discovered his mother was extremely unwell and she was taken to hospital suffering dehydration and a urinary infection.
Bupa said Mrs Hunter had been refusing food and drink and an ambulance was called as soon as her condition deteriorated.
After receiving fluids from a drip, Mrs Hunter is now improving at the Western General.
Mr Hunter said: “I have got responsibility to look after my mother. In good faith, I put her into a home. I think it is a disgrace.”
Vivienne Birch, of Bupa Care Services, said: “Staff at the home were assisting Mrs Hunter with her fluid intake and this was satisfactory on Saturday. On Sunday morning, she refused all food and drink and would not allow staff to assist her. Staff monitored her throughout the day. Her condition deteriorated suddenly at 1pm so staff called an ambulance, which arrived at around the same time as Mr Hunter.”
A Care Inspectorate spokesman said: “We are continuing to support this care home to make the urgent changes we set out in our improvement notice.”
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police in Edinburgh and the Health and Safety Executive are investigating a number of incidents at the Pentland Care Home.”