HEALTH bosses have apologised to a former Rossendale councillor and his family after they complained about a string of failings in his care.
The family of James Taylor, who has asthma and Alzheimer’s Disease, were left shocked by the ‘unacceptable’ level of care at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, where he was admitted after falling at his care home in Helmshore.
Their main complaint centred on his asthma inhalers, which daughter Hazel Berry said she gave to staff in the emergency department, but then took five days to be delivered to ward C24, where the 86-year-old had been transferred.
Since his fall Mr Taylor, a former Rawtenstall councillor in the 1970s, has been immobile and non-communicative, and Hazel believes the absence of his inhalers over those days may have contributed to his deterioration.
Hazel, 53, from Water in Rossendale, also claims:
- She found her dad had been lying in soiled clothes for about 24 hours;
- He was given apples to eat, despite not having teeth;
- She was never told which doctor was in charge of his care;
- When she phoned the ward to check his condition, a staff member said Mr Taylor ‘wasn’t her patient’ and hung up.
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Mr Taylor, a retired joiner, of Haslingden Hall Residential Care Home, in Lancaster Avenue, was under the care of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) for nine days after being admitted to the Royal Blackburn on March 1.
His family said he was kept in hospital because he was too weak and frail to be discharged.
Hazel, her brother Andrew and sister Sheena have submitted a formal complaint to the trust, but said they have still not been offered a meeting with the medics in charge of his care.
Hazel added: “The care he got was just not acceptable. Our dad was fine before all this, you could have a laugh and a joke with him, but he’s totally immobile now and you’re lucky if you can get six words out of him.
“His medication should have been sent with him to the ward.”
Deputy chief nurse, Julie Molyneaux, said the trust has had two meetings and regular correspondence with the family.
She added: “We have apologised for the regretful shortcomings in our service and we developed an action plan to minimise the risk of similar occurrences happening in the future, which we shared with the family.
“This was subsequently changed at their request and the amended version shared with them. We are greatly appreciative of Mr Taylor’s family sharing their feelings and their father’s experience with us in order that we can learn from it.”