Nursing home owner in neglect trial had “full trust” in manager

Elm View Nursing Home, Huddersfield Road, Halifax
Elm View Nursing Home, Huddersfield Road, Halifax
0
Have your say

Police and NHS nurses discovered 15 elderly residents suffering from pressure sores when they entered a Halifax nursing home, a court heard.

But Elm View owner Philip Bentley told that he was totally unaware of the problem and he and his late wife had “full trust” in their manager Faheza Simpson.

An investigation was launched into the care of residents at the home following the police raid in October 2011 and during a series of interviews with Bentley five months later officers questioned him about the running of the premises and concerns allegedly raised by staff.

But structural engineer Bentley, who had bought the home with his wife back in 1990, said the allegations gave a “totally different picture” from the one he saw when he visited the home twice a week.

“I wasn’t alerted to anything and I didn’t see anything,” he told police.

“Had I been alerted or seen it then I would have done something about it.”

Bentley said he relied on Simpson to do her job and added: “Do you think I would allow 15 pressure sores to develop, absolutely not, I would know the consequences.”

Officers queried the effect of staffing levels at the home, but Bentley said as a registered nurse Simpson would not have compromised anybody and he wouldn’t have either.

“If I thought she was cutting down staff too much then I would have said so,” he replied.

Bentley expressed surprise at claims that the home did not have enough wipes to clean residents or insufficient pressure-relieving mattresses.

“I’ve never heard all this before. I wouldn’t have allowed it to happen,” said Bentley.

Bentley queried why none of the staff had raised their concerns with him and refuted any suggestion that there was a “monetary” element to the problems at the home.

“I relied on Fi to do her job which she said she was doing,” said Bentley.

Bentley, 65, of Woodthorpe Drive, Sandal, Wakefield, and Simpson, 49, of Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, have both denied charges relating to the neglect of three women residents and a man who stayed at the for a week of respite care in 2011.

In her interviews Simpson told police that the home was in ‘’a terrible state’’ when she took over as manager in 2008.

The court has heard that at the time it had a zero rating from inspectors, but Simpson turned things round over the next few months and it was given a two-star rating the following year.

She complained about having no support from the Bentleys and said she had implemented changes all on her own.

Simpson also said there were problems with staff working too many hours with jobs at other homes and although she raised concerns nobody seemed to bother about it.

The trial continues