“At risk” woman did not have specialist mattress at care home

Bradford Crown Court
Bradford Crown Court

A 78-year-old woman who was at high risk of developing pressure sores because of her immobility did not have a specialist air mattress when her daughter visited her at a Halifax care home, a court heard.

Margaret Patterson, who suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s, became a resident at the Elm View nursing home after a three-month stay in hosphital in 2008.

Bradford Crown Court heard that when she was discharged from hospital the special air mattress was sent with her to the privately-run nursing home, but during a visit in September 2011 her daughter Jane McElroy became aware that her mother no longer had the mattress.

When she questioned home manager Faheza Simpson about it she said she didn’t realise that Mrs Patterson wasn’t on the correct mattress.

“Did she say what had become of the mattress that had followed your mother from the hospital?” asked prosecutor Nicholas Askins.

“I think she said it had been returned to the hospital,” said Mrs McElroy.

“She said she would look into it.”

Mrs McElroy said she continued to visit her mother at the home but she did not see her using the specialist air mattress again until after the premises were visited by multi-agency officials in October 2011.

The jury heard that Mrs Patterson was found to be suffering from a pressure sore and the prosecution has alleged that she was one of four residents at the home who were neglected by Simpson and the home’s owner Philip Bentley.

Simpson, 49, of Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, and Bentley, 65, of Woodthorpe Drive, Sandal, Wakefield, have denied four charges of neglect relating to three women and one man.

The jury also heard from another former nurse at the home who described Simpson’s management style as aggressive and rude.

Aisha Khan, who worked one or two days a week at the home as a so-called “bank nurse”, said she never had any freedom as a nurse and all the control was in Simpson’s hands.

She said at one stage she complained to Bentley about Simpson, but he persuaded her to continue working there.

Mrs Khan alleged that staffing levels at the home were quite low and that care plans had not been up-dated for months.

During questioning from Simpson’s barrister Michelle Colborne QC Mrs Khan rejected suggestions that she had been falsifying the care plans and lying about her manager telling her to up-date them.

“Were you being reminded a lot to do your job properly?” asked Miss Colborne.

“No it was not an issue,” said Mrs Khan.

The trial continues.