Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Family Relief at Care Home Manager Ban; Relatives Tell of Abject Squalor

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Family Relief at Care Home Manager Ban; Relatives Tell of Abject Squalor

Article excerpt

Byline: By Sarah Knapton

THE family of an elderly woman who died after months of neglect in one of Britain's worst care homes yesterday watched as the manager was thrown out of the nursing profession.

Elderly residents and dementia patients were forced to sleep on mattresses smeared with faeces on the floor of Bamburgh Court in South Shields.

Manager Ann Rigby was yesterday struck off after she let the home fall into such a state of disrepair that inspectors branded it the worst home they had ever seen.

Sisters Fran Dodds, 62, and Maureen Crozier, 70, who were forced to watch as their mother Martha Benham deteriorated through lack of care, wept as the ruling was delivered.

"It is wonderful, the best we could have hoped for," said Mrs Dodds. "It won't bring my mam back but hopefully it will stop this happening to other vulnerable people."

Nursing and Midwifery Council committee chair Anne Kelly said: "It's apparent that the state of affairs which was present at this home of which she was the manager was appalling."

Mrs Dodds said: "The care home used to be well run but it all went downhill after Mrs Rigby became manager. I had to bring a bucket with disinfectant to clean my mother's room. The staff didn't bother."

Describing one shocking incident in May 2004, Mrs Crozier said: "I entered my mother's room and the stench of urine hit me even harder. My mother was lying in bed in the foetal position. The room was in darkness and the blinds were closed.

"As I approached her I realized that she was soaked in urine. She was lying in her nightclothes and they were all wet as were the bedclothes.

"When carers took my mother to the bathroom I was left to strip the bed down and ask for disinfectant to put on to the mattress. The carers did not do this."

Mrs Benham died on July 5, 2004, two years after she was admitted. …

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