Former care home manager and owner jailed in neglect trial

Elm View Nursing Home, Huddersfield Road, Halifax
Elm View Nursing Home, Huddersfield Road, Halifax

A judge has jailed the former owner and manager of a Halifax nursing home where four vulnerable residents were the victims of deliberate neglect.

Structural engineer Philip Bentley and Faheza Simpson, an experienced nurse, were both sentenced to 12 months in prison over their lack of care for elderly residents who developed pressure sores while at staying at the Elm View home on Huddersfield Road in 2011.

Widower Bentley, 65, of Woodthorpe Drive, Wakefield, and married mum Simpson, 49, of Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, were found guilty last week after a jury at Bradford Crown Court heard weeks of evidence about under-staffing and a lack of resources at the home.

Bentley was convicted on three neglect charges relating to three women aged 78, 81 and 85.

Simpson was found guilty on those charges as well as a further neglect offence relating to a 68-year-old man who developed a serious pressure sore after being at the home for a week’s respite care.

Jailing the pair today Judge Jonathan Rose highlighted fundamental failures at the home including inadequate record-keeping, insufficient cleaning materials, a lack of regular turning and toileting for at-risk residents and the provision of vital equipment such as pressure-relieving mattresses.

A lack of basic materials such as wipes meant that staff used the residents’ own underwear to clean them and one woman was left wearing the same incontinence pad for 13 hours.

“The punishment I impose is also intended to send out the message that those who are entrusted with the care of vulnerable people, in this case the elderly, infirm and unable to speak out or otherwise look after themselves, have a duty under the criminal law to achieve a high and proper standard of care and to maintain that system in every respect at all times,” added Judge Rose.