Panel hears of Parkside ‘neglect’
Tuesday 29th October 2013, 6:00PM GMT.
Elderly care home residents were left lying for hours on painful bed sores and fed a diet of “mainly porridge” at a scandal-hit nursing home where five residents died in the space of just over two weeks, a tribunal heard.
One resident’s pressure sores were so bad that he “omitted a smell akin to rotting flesh”, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) was told.
Another was admitted to hospital dehydrated and unresponsive showing signs of “severe and prolonged malnourishment”, the disciplinary panel heard.
Five nurses from the former Parkside House Nursing Home in Northampton have been hauled before an NMC conduct and competence hearing in London to answer neglect charges.
The quintet face a raft of allegations relating to 10 residents who were in their care between April and August 2009.
They are accused of failing to carry out basic care duties including not checking bed sores, leaving patients stationary for hours at a time, failing to provide proper meals and poor record keeping.
Five residents at the home, aged between 83 and 100, died in the space of just over two weeks between July 22 and August 6.
A Serious Case Review into the deaths concluded that the residents died of causes “consistent with the effects of severe neglect”.
Presenting the case, Rebecca Woods said that all five patients suffered “severe pressure sores”.
The care home had space to care for 20 residents aged 65 and over who suffered from dementia or other long-standing mental health issues.
“Investigations into Parkside were prompted by the deaths of five residents over a three-week period in July and August 2009,” said Ms Woods.
“All suffered severe pressure sores.”
She said previous investigations by regulators had highlighted poor record keeping but no worries had been raised about maltreatment.
She said concerns about care were first raised by a doctor who had been asked to attend the home to assess a patient on July 20, 2009.
“Dr Simon Thompson was asked to review Patient A who had a chest infection,” she said.
“During the visit Dr Thompson was concerned to find severe pressure sores and was being nursed on an inadequate mattress.”
She said the medic noted sores that omitted a black fluid and a smell “akin to rotting flesh”.
The doctor referred the case to the authorities but the resident died two days later.
She continued: “On July 22 another resident from the home, Patient B, was admitted to Northampton General Hospital suffering dehydration.
“She was unresponsive and found to have severe necrotic pressure sores. Medics noted that she showed signs of severe and prolonged nourishment.”
Ms Woods told the tribunal panel that the patient had ulcers covering 80% of her buttocks and exposed tendons on her ankle.
The patient died the day after being admitted, the hearing was told.
Officials at the hospital contacted the safeguarding unit at the local authority, Ms Woods said.
After the referrals were made the authorities contacted the home but were told by the manager that the care was “already to the max”, she said.
On July 24, 2009, another resident, known only as Patient C, was admitted to Danetre Hospital in Daventry.
Her bed sores were so severe that hospital staff took photos of her to pass along to the authorities, Ms Woods said.
The patient, who was said to be in pain whenever she moved, died four days later.
Care officials decided to remove the remaining residents from the home on July 31 that year, she added.
The hearing was told that some residents had been left sitting or lying “for hours on end”.
And a day before the home was closed a dietician evaluated the meal plans and found that some residents were fed a diet of mostly porridge.
“Meals were very repetitive and lacking in variety,” Ms Woods said.
“Some of the residents on pureed diets were fed mainly porridge. Many were given porridge for their breakfast and evening meal.”
Two of the night shift nurses, Mary Bisieri-Ombui and Anastacia Maduli, have admitted the charges against them.
Deputy manager Maria McKenzie and nurse Girlie Franklin deny any wrongdoing.
Care home manager and owner Phyllis Johnson did not answer the charges and was not in attendance at the hearing. She has since begun her retirement in Trinidad, the panel heard.
Representing Mrs Bisieri-Ombui, Alex Jamieson told the hearing that she admitted the charges on the basis that she worked on night shifts and was not permitted to provide some levels of care to residents.
The nurse was told by Ms McKenzie that she should not deal with wounds or care plans because they were her responsibility, he said.
He said that on one occasion when the nurse tried to dress a wound she was reprimanded.
“By virtue of being a registered nurse she bore an overarching responsibility to the patients to ensure they received appropriate care,” he said.
“She ought to have been their advocate.”
Both nurses that admitted the charges also conceded that their fitness to practice was impaired.
Ms Woods said the day to day running of the home was conducted by Ms McKenzie.
The case was adjourned for the day.