YEP Says, February 9: A haunting question about the state of our retirement homes

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... and is Leeds ready for an elected mayor?

GIVEN that state-run care homes look set to soon be a thing of the past, the need to ensure that private homes maintain high standards is of paramount importance.

It’s therefore deeply concerning that the organisations tasked with doing this ignored reports of inadequate care which were later found to be well-founded.

Bryan Parvin died aged 83 at the Harrogate Lodge Care Home in Chapel Allerton in May 2013 after developing a pressure sore on his heel which led to septicaemia.

But his son John has told the YEP he faced a major battle to get his concerns taken seriously by the home, council officials, the Care Quality Commission and the NHS.

Now all have been forced to admit serious failings in their initial investigations which dismissed his complaints.

The care home is currently facing an investigation into allegations of “institutional abuse” over the treatment of residents, as well as a separate probe into its care of people with pressure sores. Shockingly, the home had been inspected just 18 months ago by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission who found no serious grounds for concern.

It begs the question as to how many other instances of substandard care are falling beneath the radar because victims don’t have loved ones capable of holding homes to account.

Is Leeds ready for an elected mayor?

LEEDS City Council leader is quite right when he calls on the Government to be “ambitious” by giving the city more power over its future.

At the moment, it is hamstrung by the double whammy of a drastically shrinking budget and little or no say as to where its spending priorities should lie.

However, devolution is not a magic bullet. There is no point Leeds having the final say on where investment should be channeled if it has no money to spend. The city deserves a fairer funding deal.

Then there is the small matter of who will lead this new-look Leeds. It suggests an elected mayor – but do we really want one?