Nursing home manager denies being part of the problem

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The former manager of a nursing home where elderly residents were allegedly neglected has rejected suggestions that she was part of the problem.

Faheza Simpson, 49, has denied four allegations of neglect arising out of a police raid on the Elm View nursing home in Huddersfield Road, Halifax, back in October 2011 and today she told a jury at Bradford Crown Court that she had raised her own concerns about staff shortages with care officers.

During questioning by prosecutor Nicholas Askins Simpson, of Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, was referred to a Care Quality Commission review which highlighted the failure by the home to notify the authorities about pressure sores suffered by residents.

Simpson explained that even in 2011 the home did not have internet access and when she tried to obtain the relevant forms they had to be sent in the post because she could provide an suitable email address.

She told the jury that the forms were completed late for that reason, but Mr Askins suggested both Simpson and the home’s owner Philip Bentley chose to accept a poor system of pressure sore care.

“I wouldn’t say we accepted the system,” said Simpson.

“I personally wasn’t happy because I was trying to do my best with whatever was available at the time.

“It was not my standard to accept that kind of care... it was because we were short of staff.”

“You didn’t do much to tackle it because you were part of the problem?” suggested Mr Askins.

“I don’t agree with that.” replied Simpson.

“Because you knew you had managed the staff badly,” continued Mr Askins.

“No I wouldn’t say that,” said Simpson.

Mr Askins suggested that Simpson had chosen to tolerate a system that wasn’t good enough, but she said she had been doing her best for the residents.

Simpson also rejected the claim that she didn’t like cases being referred to the tissue viability nurses who had expertise in dealing with pressure sores.

Simpson faces four charges in relation to three women an a man who all suffered pressure sores while at Elm View in 2011.

Philip Bentley, 65, of Woodthorpe Drive, Sandal, Wakefield, is alleged to have been responsible for neglect suffered by the three women.

He has denied the charges.

The trial continues.