25/Oct/2014 - Last News Update: 10:58

Jean Halfpenny Orchid View care home death 'after neglect'

Category: England

Published: 10th Sep 2013 14:28:21

An elderly stroke victim who died after she was placed in a Sussex care home was left unattended and found by a social worker naked and crying in bed, an inquest has heard.

Jean Halfpenny's health deteriorated after she started living at Orchid View in Copthorne, the hearing was told.

Her daughter, Louise Halfpenny, said her mother was also given wrong levels of her prescribed medication.

The inquest is into the unexplained deaths of 19 residents at the home.

Orchid View, which has since closed and reopened under a new name and new management, was run by Southern Cross.

Ms Halfpenny said her 77-year-old mother was given three times more warfarin than her prescribed dose on regular occasions.

She described senior nurse Sadeo Sing as "obnoxious, rude and unprofessional".

She said: "He pulled my mother out of her chair to a standing position even though she had not been on her feet for six months. My mother was terrified."

On one occasion she arrived at 10:00 to find her mother in bed, hungry, thirsty and with the curtains drawn.

She also said a social worker who visited her mother in 2010 found her naked in bed, crying and complaining that she was cold.

Ms Halfpenny said she brought in food to supplement her mother's diet but was reprimanded.

And she said she saw staff use their own money to buy provisions to cook Christmas dinner.

After she made complaints, she said the visiting policy changed and she was told she could not visit first thing in the morning and at mealtimes.

She described severe staff shortages and said it would take up to 20 minutes for her mother's call bell to be answered.

She also said the care home manager Meera Reed was often not there and would be trying to run the home in her absence.

Ms Halfpenny said continued vascular problems with her mother's feet were not dealt with.

She and her sister decided not to move their mother because they did not want to cause her any more upheaval, the inquest heard.

Ms Halfpenny said her family chose the home, which cost more than £3,000 a month, because it was new, impressive, had state-of-the-art equipment, and her mother who needed a high level of care after a severe stroke in 2009 would be near friends and family.

Her mother was admitted to East Surrey Hospital in Redhill in April 2010 with blood in her urine but discharged, she said.

She was admitted again a month later, when she was "tired, pale and seemed to be having hallucinations", and given a blood transfusion, she added.

In May that year, her mother died in hospital from a stroke caused by a blood clot in her brain, she said.

The inquest continues.

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BBC News, 2013. Jean Halfpenny Orchid View care home death 'after neglect' [Online] (Updated 10th Sep 2013)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1506012/Jean-Halfpenny-Orchid-View-care-home-death-after-neglect [Accessed 25th Oct 2014]

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