The parallels between what happened to Joyce Mason and the circumstances surrounding the death of my own relative are so very similar. Change the names of the vulnerable elderly adults with dementia and with very similar medical problems, change the names of the the care home, change the location, change names of the ‘care’ provider – the circumstances are exactly the same. Sub-standard, shabby, shoddy care, also known as neglect. Resulting in the demolition of two lively lovely people who enjoyed life.
Coroner Catherine Mason said: ‘If Mrs Mason had been taken to hospital earlier, either when the family asked for a medical review or when Mrs Mason became agitated, or even when the GP attended, on a balance of probabilities Mrs Mason could have survived.‘
The Coroner also said: ‘ … at 86 years of age, the elderly deserve the right to be treated with respect, dignity and care. Mrs Mason and her family had the right to expect that the health care professionals within whose care she was placed would practise a high standard of record keeping and delivery of care. This did not happen.’
The coroner said about the GP providing health care to the residents of Braunstone Firlands Care Centre, Leicestershire, run by Prime Life Limited (why do care home providers come up with such misnomers?): “He (the doctor) said that had he been aware of all the information held by the care centre at the time of his attendance, he would have admitted Mrs Mason to hospital at that time.” I have a real problem with this, Doctor! A GP has a duty to conduct a full assessment of a patient, and that includes asking the care home staff for information about the patient and his/her known medical history and events in recent days/weeks. A doctor is in the most senior role, on the day of his/her visit to a patient, so s/he should ask the relevant questions.
But it’s the words of Joyce Mason’s son, Christopher, that could be my own words almost: ‘We put our mother into care with people we thought we could trust. They let us down completely.‘
Over the last month, there has been one report a day about sub-standard, shoddy, shabby care of elderly people in care.
I will come back to the story of Joyce Mason, another day, because it is so very close to my own experience. I am finding it shocking to read so many articles that just make me question the value of the CQC, and like it or not, many people place their trust in the CQC inspection reports. Not me. Never ever again. And never again will I trust a care provider. They will need to earn my trust – it will never be offered unless and until I have reason to trust them.
I would like somehow to send my thoughts to the family of Joyce Mason.