An elderly man suffering with vascular dementia was left with a fractured wrist and “wouldn’t let anyone touch him” after just seven days at a north Liverpool nursing home heavily criticised by care inspectors.
Gary Claeys said he blamed himself for the shocking treatment his dad Thomas, 82, received at Alt Park Nursing Home in March. Earlier this month, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) identified a blame culture, with residents left shouting for help and at risk of abuse, at Alt Park.
As a result, the home was deemed inadequate and placed into special measures. It was revealed last week how the dad of a former patient at Alt Park had raised concerns of his own about the standard of care his daughter had received in the final months of her life.
Melvyn Chazen, 80, said his daughter Linzi Thomas “did not deserve” how she had been treated and criticised the home’s lack of specialist dementia care. Mr Claeys told the LDRS his dad, originally from Speke, was transferred to Alt Park after spending time at Broadgreen Hospital earlier this year.
He said seven days later, on a visit to the home, Mr Claeys’ dad had a fractured wrist and ligature marks on his arm. He said, “He didn’t have these injuries when he went in there.
“On the day I went to visit, he’d been changed into short-sleeved pyjamas and I noticed bruising on his arm. The concerns were dismissed as him bumping into things.”
Mr Claeys said after this, his dad was transferred to Aintree Hospital and was later moved into a home in Speke. After raising the concerns with the home, an investigation was carried out by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust into the 82-year-old’s injuries.
In an email seen by the LDRS, Trust officials said allegations of neglect by Alt Park in relation to Mr Claeys’ broken wrist had been substantiated. The email said, “This is due to them having no record of how your dad’s injury was sustained, that they did not find it themselves (and needed you to bring it to their attention), and the lack of urgency that they responded to this once you had brought it to their attention.
“Alt Park has also not provided any evidence of an internal investigation into what happened.” Officials from the Trust said there was no reason for an accidental cause of the injuries Mr Claeys’ dad had sustained.
The CQC report released earlier this month said their inspection had been prompted by “multiple concerns” being raised regarding the management of the home “people not being sufficiently hydrated and concerns relating to a poor culture within the service.” The document found residents’ medicines were not managed safely and as a result, they were placed in “avoidable harm.”
CQC inspectors said in their report the service was not well-led and the manager and provider failed to carry out their regulatory responsibilities. Staff described working at Alt Park Nursing Home as “chaos” and “confusing at times.”
Mr Claeys, who lives in Aigburth, said reading the LDRS reports into Alt Park had confirmed his suspicions about the home’s effectiveness. He said, “We were absolutely devastated, I cried my eyes out for days.
“I blamed myself. To see your dad, who is 82 with vascular dementia going through this.
“He’s a gentleman, he’s never offended anyone and people love him. When he went to hospital, he was so frightened, he wouldn’t let anyone touch him.”
Mr Claeys said his dad, diagnosed with dementia five years ago, was a keen footballer in his youth – turning out for Liverpool’s under 21s – and worked all his life as a technician across the North West. He added: “He is a great dad and was a wonderful husband to my mum.”
The CQC said they will work alongside We Care Group and Liverpool Council to monitor progress.
A re-inspection will take place within six months and if significant changes have not been made, the CQC could move to shut down the service.
Bernie Suresparan, chief executive officer, at We Care Group said, “The We Care Group is extremely saddened and disappointed with the findings within the report, which we take very seriously. We apologise to residents, family members and the local community that we serve, that the standards in the home have fallen below those expected within the We Care Group.
“We would like to reassure everyone that since the inspection we have put together an action plan to make the necessary improvements identified, made systems more robust and have appointed a new manager. We have already made some significant progress on rectifying many of the concerns identified and are confident that the home will soon be back to the good standard we expect within our homes.”
Image: Thomas Claeys/Family handout