Halifax care home manager on neglect trial was “abrupt and unprofessional”

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A nurse who raised concerns about at a Halifax care home has told a jury that her manager was “abrupt and unprofessional”.

Geraldine Wood, who worked at the Elm View nursing home for about four months in 2011, said Holmfirth woman Faheza Simpson would make life difficult for staff if they questioned her.

Simpson, 49, of Huddersfield Road, and the owner of Elm View 65-year-old Philip Bentley, of Woodthorpe Drive, Wakefield, have both denied charges relating to the neglect of four elderly residents at the nursing home.

The jury at Bradford Crown Court has heard allegations that one man and three women all suffered problems with pressure sores at the home which was raided by police and NHS staff in October 2011

Mrs Wood told the jury that she submitted her letter of resignation after she was shouted at by Simpson in front of some residents at the end of a night-shift.

She said a few weeks earlier she had had a face-to-face private meeting with Bentley in which she raised her concerns, including the treatment of pressure sores.

Mrs Wood said Bentley told her to leave it with him, but he said: “You know what Fi’s like. I’ll have to pick my moment to raise this with her.”

“Did Mr Bentley tell whether he had ever raised it?” asked prosecutor Nicholas Askins.

“No,” said Mrs Wood.

Mrs Wood said after the altercation with Simpson she felt she couldn’t work at the home any more and tendered her resignation.

During cross-examination by Simpson’s barrister Michelle Colborne QC Mrs Wood rejected the suggestion that she had wanted to take over Simpson’s job at the home and had been undermining her position.

“The main issue between you and Faheza Simpson was that she criticised you for not actually carrying out the tasks that she instructed you to carry out isn’t that right,” suggested Miss Colborne.

But Mrs Wood said that was incorrect and she had been professional in doing her work.

During questioning by Bentley’s barrister Sam Green Mrs Wood confirmed that the meeting with his client in August 2011 was the first time she had raised any of her concerns with him.

“So the first time you raised concerns with Philip Bentley was after you had been working at Elm View for three months,” said Mr Green.

“Yes because it was protocol to raise it with the manager first,” replied Mrs Wood.

She said had raised her concerns in records at the home and the evidence was there to be seen when it was inspected.

The trial continues.