‘I raised fears over care home 10 years ago’

Heather Gray with gran Euphemia Dougan in 1990
Heather Gray with gran Euphemia Dougan in 1990
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A WOMAN whose 97-year-old grandmother died at a troubled Edinburgh nursing home today told how she first raised concerns about the care there almost ten years ago.

Heather Gray, whose grandmother Euphemia Dougan lived at the Pentland Hill Nursing Home for four years until passing away in 2008, spoke out after news emerged that police are investigating the deaths of four people at the Bupa-run home.

It emerged today that two residents were taken to hospital this week with head injuries after falling at the facility, which has been shut to new admissions following a damning Care Inspectorate report.

The Care Inspectorate is also looking into four separate 

Ms Gray, of Kirkliston, said that she had repeatedly complained to managers about care while her grandmother was a resident. She added that many of the “serious concerns” raised by the Care Inspectorate, including around nutrition, a lack of stimulation and staffing, had been issues when she was a regular visitor.

“These things were going on years ago,” the 54-year-old security officer said.

“I highlighted them and they were swept under the carpet. Now they’ve reared their ugly head again.

“They were left to fend for themselves in there. She would fall out of bed, have unexplained bruises and even excrement under her fingernails. It’s too late for my granny but not for the others who are still in there.”

Ms Dougan, who said she still has copies of previous complaints, has contacted Bupa again in light of the latest revelations. The firm said that it had received a complaint only yesterday about fees and care issues five years ago and was investigating.

Alex Hunter, whose 
88-year-old mother Beatrice was admitted to the Western General Hospital in June after suffering with dehydration while at Pentland Hill, said he had found her a place at St Raphael’s care home in the Grange ahead of her 
anticipated discharge next week.

Mr Hunter, 63, said: “I’ve been looking at other homes and it’s been such an eye-opener. They’re like chalk and cheese.”

Bupa said the residents who fell this week and were taken to hospital had suffered “minor” head injuries.

Vivienne Birch, director of partnerships at Bupa Care Services, added: “Both of them were discharged on the same day of admission. Sadly, even in their own homes and with the best possible care, older people can fall.

“Both residents are now back at the home.”


Facility had previous warnings

BUPA shut Pentland Hill home to new admissions following a damning report published in July.

The Care Inspectorate – and its predecessor the Care Commission – have previously criticised aspects of the facility in previous investigations.

In September 2011, the home was graded satisfactory in three areas and weak in one, with inspectors criticising the level of stimulation offered to residents and the management structure.

In November 2009, the home was graded weak across all four key areas.

Management was again criticised and it was found that a ­person-centred approach was not offered to all of the residents.