Resident neglected by care home staff

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It has emerged that a retired North-east policeman spent the last few days of his life in agony after carers failed to wash him or give him vital painkillers at a Stonehaven care home.

Portlethen man Bill Cunningham spent less than a week at Havencourt Care Home at Woodcot Gardens, Stonehaven, and the 84-year-old suffered for 34 hours without pain relief he had been prescribed because staff failed to read his notes correctly.

Mr Cunningham, who had terminal cancer and was almost blind, spent five days at the care home before being admitted to hospital last October where he died 24 hours later.

During those five days, the Care Inspectorate ruled that staff did not properly wash Mr Cunningham for four days, they failed to care for his needs “in a dignified and hygenic manner” and did not call a doctor when he required one.

Staff also failed to ensure that an alarm cord, or something similar, was within the 84-year-old’s reach, which prevented him from calling for help the day before he died.

Mr Cunngingham’s daughter Judi Martin, of Maryculter, said she had been “pleading” with carers to give her father morphine and had even gone back to hospital to have it confirmed by nurses that he should get it as and when required.

Ms Martin, who said she was distressed at the way in which her father spent the last few days of his life, contacted the Care Inspectorate, who have upheld nine separate complaints.

Havencourt Care Home, owned by Four Seasons Health Care, recently had one of the poorest ratings in Scotland and an investigation was launched in 2011 after four residents died in under two weeks after what was understood to be a small outbreak of respiratory illness.

A spokeswoman for Four Seasons Health Care admitted the standards of care provided for Mr Cunningham fell short of the expected but added that the home had since made improvements.