A devastated Leeds man, who claims his 71-year-old mother died after she was “neglected” at a failing care home, has called for the facility to be shut down until it improves.
Stephen Wilde, from Armley, lodged a formal complaint over the treatment of his mother Carol at Amber Lodge care home, in Wortley, in January, which prompted an inspection by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The organisation deemed the home ‘inadequate’ after it found distressed residents pacing up and down corridors and a failure to consistently maintain residents’ dignity on its January 30 and February 5 inspection.
Amid “serious concerns” Leeds City Council launched a safeguarding investigation over Carol’s death and has suspended new council-funded admissions to Amber Lodge.
On January 4, Stephen, who visited Carol daily during her three-month stay, was called by his visiting nephew to help his mother, who was slumped, lifeless, in her wheelchair.
The 45-year-old claims Amber Lodge staff initially refused to call a doctor and assured him that diabetic Carol only needed a boost her blood sugar levels.
“She was just sat in her wheelchair and there was just nothing – she wasn’t blinking her eyes, moving or talking,” he said. “She was wet through, I don’t know if it was urine or sweat – her room was red hot.”
He continued: “She wasn’t given the chance to get any better. There was nothing there, it was like she had been put in a room and just left there.”
Carol was taken to Leeds St James’s Hospital after the family and Amber Lodge called 999 and within minutes of their arrival at hospital, the family was told to expect the worst.
Carol’s death certificate states that she died as a result of a urine infection on January 12.
Claiming she was “neglected”, cleaning manager Stephen said: “It [Amber Lodge] shouldn’t be there for them [residents] until the problems are resolved.”
The family and Leeds City Council paid £1,000 a month to the Meridian Healthcare Ltd-run home for Carol’s care.
A spokeswoman for Meridian Healthcare Ltd said is was “deeply saddened” at Mrs Wilde’s death but could not comment on the investigation.
A council spokesman would not comment on Carol’s case. He said: “The suspension will remain until we are satisfied.”
HOME BOSSES REVEAL ACTION
Amber Lodge was deemed inadequate by the CQC, particularly in how safe, effective and caring it was, while the responsiveness and leadership at the home required improvement.
A spokeswoman for the home, run by Meridian Healthcare Ltd, said a range of improvements had already been made as part of a “robust action plan”.
She said: “The wellbeing, safety and health of each person we care for are our top priorities.
“We are deeply disappointed by the outcome of the CQC inspection which took place in January.”