CBC ordered to pay compensation to elderly man's family over poor treatment at Leighton Buzzard care home

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The Health Ombudsman has ordered Central Beds Council to pay £500 to the family of an elderly man who endured poor treatment in a Leighton Buzzard care home.

The man, known only as 'Mr Y', had advanced dementia and the council arranged for him to stay at The Knolls care home on October 9, 2018, while his wife recovered from an operation.

During his stay at the care home on Plantation Road, he developed blisters on his feet from constantly wearing shoes, and his wife complained that his false teeth were left in his mouth for nine days.

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On November 2, Mr Y was admitted to hospital with suspected sepsis on the chest.

The Knolls Care Home, off Plantation RoadThe Knolls Care Home, off Plantation Road
The Knolls Care Home, off Plantation Road

His family complained that staff at The Knolls had "refused" to give him a replacement after he was found with a wet blanket, and had left his bedroom window open, "making him cold and resulting in him getting pneumonia".

Other complaints included leaving a clinical waste bag on the floor of his room, leaving his food uncovered before returning to feed him, and not sending him to hospital after an earlier incident on October 20.

The Knolls reported these concerns to Central Beds Council as safeguarding issues on November 12.

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Mr Y remained in hospital until he died on December 5, 2018, from pneumonia and Alzheimer’s disease with frailty as a contributory factor.

A safeguarding report prepared by Central Beds Council and later reviewed by the Health Ombudsman identified 17 failings in Mr Y's care.

The Ombudsman stated: "There is no dispute over the fact there were problems with the care Mr Y received at The Knolls.

"He developed painful blisters on his feet which were avoidable. His false teeth were left in his mouth for nine days.

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"While these problems left Mr Y’s family feeling let down and distressed by the care he received at The Knolls, I cannot say the problems resulted in his untimely death."

The Ombudsman ordered the council to apologise to Mr Y's widow and pay her £300, as well as an apology to his daughter with a payment of £200.

A Central Beds Council spokesman said: "We are very sorry that the care this gentleman received was not of the quality we expect from care providers we use.

"As soon as the family raised concerns, we investigated and worked with the care home to make necessary improvements.

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"We have sincerely apologised to the family for the distress caused to the family.

“This particular instance was some time ago now and we know that the quality of care in this home has improved since a new team implemented a series of measures. The home is now classed as ‘Good’ by the CQC.”