A local care home, Latimer Grange in Burton Latimer, has been in the press over recent months and the sorry tale of poor levels of care for the vulnerable elderly residents continues. News of a continuing police investigation into allegations of criminal neglect has now resulted in the Northamptonshire County Council removing residents for their own safety.
Residents with dementia suffered criminal neglect
Latimer Grange was supposedly able to cater for individuals with dementia but, in June 2017, when the daughter of a resident with dementia revealed that her father had been made to sit in a chair soaked with his own urine, the home was subject to a council and police investigation.
It then became evident that many of the elderly residents may not have received the correct prescribed medication, suffered unexplained bruising and flea bites and were not fed properly by carers at the home. In October 2017, two people were arrested by police investigating allegations that included criminal offences against current and past residents.
Care home rated as inadequate
The council said they were providing ‘support staff to assist in maintaining standards’ since a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection of the privately run home had resulted an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’ with many other areas such as safety and leadership being rated as ‘inadequate’.
The latest CQC unannounced inspection in December 2017 found no improvement since the last visit. Latimer Grange continued to be in breach of regulations mainly because of continuing concerns over safety and the fact that residents’ nutritional needs were not being met.
Getting redress for vulnerable victims of sub-standard care
Sarah Cunliffe, an associate solicitor from Shoosmiths specialising in care home neglect and abuse, has seen many cases of failure to protect residents from physical harm. She also has experience of cases where inadequate administration and management have combined with insensitivity and general poor standards of care, as was the case with Elsie Clarke, which resulted in her death.
Unacceptable treatment of vulnerable elderly residents
Sarah reflects that the level of callousness displayed towards those vulnerable adults in Latimer Grange is hard to understand:
‘In other words, aside from not administering medications correctly or protecting residents from falls, vulnerable people at Latimer Grange were being systematically starved. Care staff were reported to have admitted that if they were running low on certain meals they wouldn’t bother feeding those with dementia because they ‘wouldn’t remember eating’. That attitude is symptomatic of poor training, management and leadership and is utterly unacceptable.’
On 10 January 2018 (with the police investigation into safeguarding issues at Latimer Grange still ongoing) Northamptonshire County Council ended its contract with the home, withdrawing 22 council-funded residents who lived there. All of these vulnerable elderly people are expected to be re-homed by mid-February 2018.
What to do now
If you suspect that an elderly or vulnerable relative or friend has suffered actual harm as a consequence of poor residential or other care our specialist teams here at Shoosmiths will be able to help. Call our customer services team on 03700 868 686 for a free initial consultation.
The above video relates to Elsie Clarke case study