Family distraught over treatment by Red Gables care home

Wharfedale Observer: Husband and wife David and Anne Price Husband and wife David and Anne Price

The stepson of a man given just 48 hours to quit an Ilkley care home has slammed its Australian owners and accused them of using his relative as a “cash cow”.

David Price, 77, had been a resident of Red Gables in Parish Ghyll Drive, Ilkley, since August last year. He has a condition called Lewy Body, which means he has Parkinson’s disease and dementia and requires nursing care.

His wife Anne, 70, of Otley, had cared for him at home but needing a complete knee replacement herself, his care became too much for her and she had to reluctantly arrange for him move to into a care home.

“We chose Ilkley and Red Gables because it is a lovely situation up there with a brilliant aspect and it seemed the best one,” said her son Ian Nicholls, also of Otley.

However, an unannounced inspection of the home by the health and social care watchdog, the Care Quality Commission in December last year found it was failing to meet national standards in a number of areas, including not having enough nursing staff and being overall reliant on agency nurses.

Then home owners Queensland Care announced in March, it was to cease proving nursing care and gave residents requiring nursing care just 28 days to find alternative accommodation.

Mr Nicholls said his step father did not receive a letter regarding a move, although he paid for nursing care.

“My mum, who has 40 plus years experience as a nurse, was suspicious and kept telling the home he was a nursing case,” said Mr Nicholls. “They stated that ‘if he hasn’t had a letter he will not be moved’.”

However, Mrs Price persisted and involved social services who did their own investigation which culminated in her being told he did indeed have to move. She received the news verbally last week just 48 hours before he had to be out of the home on Thursday.

“My mum was distraught,” said Mr Nicholls. “David can’t walk and is doubly incontinent and all his basic needs are met by a carer. We have been forced to put him in respite miles away from home and then will have to wait to see if any places are available in a home close by that specialises in dementia care. This means a confused patient moving twice in quick succession.”

Mr Nicholls said he had spoken out to highlight the “disgusting example of care by the home’s owners” and he has also contacted the Care Quality Commission to register his concerns around safeguarding issues at the home.

“The lack of communication has been terrible,” he said. “The care staff are doing the best they can but they have been in tears, not knowing what will happen to their jobs - they are all worried. There are only six residents left at the home now.

“The home is like a ghost town, full of shell shocked staff yet no management to oversee them or the residents’ care. My major concern is how the home is going to cope in the future.

“People with Lewy Body don’t cope with change - they get agitated and can take days to come out of it and I can’t believe the cruelty of putting mum and David through this. It is outrageous and they need a blast across the gunnels to make sure they can’t do this again.

“The management of Queensland Care are using patients as cash cows.”

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