This is story is about my Aunty Christine, she suffered appalling abuse in a Nursing Home and is one of the main reasons I enjoy my job, playing my part in ensuring the very best care is delivered by working hard to match the ideal candidates with their ideal employer and setting.
Christine lived at home for most of her life with my Grandma and Granddad. When you visited the first thing she did was make everyone a cup of tea, she loved being useful. When she was in her teens she had a nervous breakdown and was taken to Stanley Royd, Hospital in Leeds. I do also know that she was subjected to Electric shock treatments. She was classed as “Backwards” in those days.
When my grandparents got older they decided it was time to ensure that Christine was cared for when they had gone that is when Christine entered the Care System. She was in a Residential Home in Leeds for a while and we did see her change a lot, she would be half asleep half the time. She wasn’t her usual fun self and became withdrawn and unhappy. We then were informed this home was closing and she was to be moved to Bradford 16 Miles away from where we lived. This wasn’t ideal for my Mum who didn’t drive and would have had to catch several busses each day to visit where as previously she was only a few minutes away. We did not seem to have a say in this and I decided to get involved.
Myself and my mum attended a meeting with every care professional involved in her well being – there must have been 10 people in that room and do you know what … none of them knew anything about her! It angered me. The doctor read out a list of medication she was currently taking and when I asked why she was taking a certain medication I got a blank face. We were informed that she would be moving to Bradford because she needed a Nursing Home and as she was under 55 it was hard to find a home that would take her. The decision had already been made!
My aunty went to live at the Home in Bradford, during her time there she had her cigarette allowance reduced to 3 a day this caused her distress and she was reduced to going into the local Supermarket Café to take cigarette butts from ashtrays. The Home knew about this and did nothing.
She then broke her hip (We still don’t know why) and we were called to the Hospital. I went with my mum on that first visit to find her in the middle of a small ward of six. Her hair was stuck to her head, she smelled so badly of urine the whole ward smelt. Worst of all the care home had put her in an ambulance with her belongings in a bin liner and no-one accompanied her in the ambulance from the home. It was whilst she was in here that we received the sad news that she had terminal lung cancer. Christine returned to the home and never walked again and more incidents happened – her bed was moved away from her buzzer as she was constantly in pain. The final straw was whilst she was being drag lifted; she cried out in pain and was slapped across the face with a slipper!
Safeguarding became involved and I called the local CQC Inspector and started an official complaint. To this day I do not know what happened to that Care Assistant. The results we got from the CQC inspection were a list of complaints and whether they had been upheld or not upheld it was all a bit lame to be honest!. We did also discover that there were discrepancies with her monies. But no real answers!
She moved from this home to a home in Leeds where the staff were amazing… she spent her final months being Nursed by some fantastic carers which I am glad of and I was by her side when she died. Sadly I cannot change what happened to her and the sad life she lived. Knowing what I know now I honestly think my Aunty had a Learning Disability or Autism. I feel sad that her life was like this and that she didn’t receive the best care and support she deserved. In my opinion she should have been living independently not in a Care Home or Nursing Home and had she been born today she may have been treated differently.
RIP my darling and I think about you every day