Tuesday 11 December 2018
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Failings at care home contributed to death of woman, 94

The family of a 94-year-old woman whose death followed inadequate care at a residential home in South Yorkshire has called for tighter regulation.

Molly Darby's family said her condition deteriorated within weeks of moving into The Beeches care home in Wath-upon-Dearne.

She was eventually taken to hospital and died of natural causes.

But coroner Nicola Mundy told the inquest in Rotherham she did not get the "care and dignity she deserved".

Mrs Darby's son Jim told the hearing that his mother had been physically fit and sprightly when she first went into the care home in 2007.

Four weeks afterwards she was taken to Barnsley District Hospital after contracting a chest infection and later died from natural causes.

The family said her condition deteriorated when she went into the home and her hair had become matted, she had pressure sores and her eyelashes were so congealed she was unable to open her eyes.

Narrative verdict

The inquest also heard evidence from Rotherham Council, which carried out its own investigation and found there had been "neglect by omission".

The council said record-keeping at the home was so poor that in some cases they could not tell whether Mrs Darby had been given the care she was supposed to receive.

Evidence was also given by the former care home manager who made reference to the poor record-keeping but disputed claims about Mrs Darby's appearance, saying she had been underweight when she arrived.

The inquest was told the home was formerly run by Winnie Care Group, but had since been taken over by another company.

Coroner Ms Mundy recorded a narrative verdict but ruled there had been inadequate care.

Speaking afterwards, Mrs Darby's granddaughter Pearl Green said: "This has been a long time coming.

"It has clarified everything we thought we knew. She was neglected from the beginning from her admission to hospital.

"If we save one life with this then we're happy."