Rest home draws more complaints

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 05:00 21/08/2012

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Age Concern has criticised a Rangiora rest home at the same time as a second family has come forward about its perceived lack of care.

The Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) appointed a temporary manager to Wiltshire Lifecare early last month after receiving nine formal complaints since 2010.

Its investigation is continuing and the board says it will not disclose any details until the audit is complete.

A Rangiora man, who did not wish to be named, said his mother-in-law died last month after living at the home for five years.

The 84-year-old woman had two falls in the shower in recent months and both times "nobody was there to look after her".

"She lay on the shower floor for 20 minutes and no-one came to help her," the man said.

"She was taken to bed and not given any pain medication and wasn't checked over properly.

"She had grazes and some really bad bruising that needed treating.

"You think you can trust the health professionals because they know what they're doing, but it seems you can't."

When the CDHB appointed the temporary manager, the man said, he and his wife requested a meeting with management.

"We never heard back properly and nothing ever came out of our complaints," he said.

The couple had since laid a complaint with the health and disability commissioner.

"She was really active before the falls. She would go grocery shopping, she was in good spirits - and to see her deteriorate so quickly and know she wasn't being cared for properly, it just makes me really angry," the man said.

The Press last week spoke to the son of an elderly man, known only as Jack, who died a day after being taken to Christchurch Hospital with urine scald and bedsores.

Jack's son, who did not wish to be named, said the family came up against "continual problems" in the three months Jack lived at Wiltshire and were unhappy about the quality of care he received.

"We can't bring him back but we can try to see the systems at Wiltshire changed so other families don't have to go through this," he said. A staff member at the rest home told The Press Jack should have been taken to hospital before it was "too late".

She said the man used to be "shut up in his room" because he would shout and swear. "He yelled and swore because he was in pain [but] management did nothing.

"They were too busy and it wasn't until his bum was bleeding and raw that they finally sent him to hospital.

"I was one of the people who was always pushing management to get him to hospital the week before they finally did."

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Age Concern national president Evelyn Weir yesterday said it seemed Jack did not receive the care he needed in his final days.

“Care should be of a standard that minimises the risk of skin deterioration and maximises wellbeing," Weir said. “Anything short of this standard is neglect and is completely unacceptable."

Wiltshire owner Margaret Busby last Friday said a "range of improvements" had been implemented at the home since the temporary manager had started.

Extra staff, including a cleaner and new clinical manager, had been hired.

- The Press

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