Staff told manager they were struggling with workload

Scales of justice
Scales of justice

The former manager of a Halifax nursing home has accepted that staff shortages meant nurses and carers struggled to cope with their workload.

Faheza Simpson, 49, who is alleged to have been responsible for neglecting four elderly people at the privately-run Elm View nursing home, told a jury at Bradford Crown Court today (Tuesday) that she was having to work too many hours as a nurse rather than being a manager.

“We could have done with a lot more staff than we had,” she claimed.

Simpson, of Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, confirmed that staff had told her they were struggling to keep up with their duties and paperwork and it became an obvious problem from May 2011.

Simpson, who has denied four charges of neglect relating to three women and a male resident, said she couldn’t function as a manager because of the hours she was working as a nurse.

At the time the home had 22 residents and Simpson said she had discussed recruiting more staff with owner Philip Bentley.

“Mr Bentley said OK I’ll look into recruiting some qualified nurses,” said Simpson.

“Did that happen?” asked her barrister Michelle Colborne QC.

“No,” replied Simpson.

The prosecution has alleged that residents developed pressure sores as a result of neglect at the home, but Simpson said she trusted the nurses on duty to identity and dress any such problems.

“So on a day to day basis were you in the habit of double-checking what other nurses had done or were you content to trust that they had done their job properly?” asked Miss Colborne.

“I was trusting the nurses that they had done their job properly,” replied Simpson.

Home owner Bentley, 65, of Woodthorpe Drive, Sandal, Wakefield, has been cleared by the jury on one neglect allegation following directions from the judge, but he is still on trial for allegations relating to the three female residents who suffered pressure sores.

The trial continues.