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Man in care home left sitting in excrement for up to four hours

Sowerby House pictured in 2015. Credit: PA

An elderly man was left sitting in his own excrement for up to four hours, while a table in another man's room was covered in "hundreds" of ants, an inquest has heard.

The inquest is being held into the 2016 deaths of Albert Pooley, 89, and 85-year-olds James Metcalfe and Harry Kilvington at Sowerby House near Thirsk in North Yorkshire.

The premises have been investigated by North Yorkshire Police and the Care Quality Commission and its owners no longer run it as a nursing home, the inquest in Northallerton heard.

District nurse Penelope Hutchinson said she visited Mr Metcalfe in July 2016 and found him with chapped lips, sitting in his own urine and excrement, having not been checked for four-and-a-half hours.

She told the inquest she confronted manager Joanne King after she cleaned Mr Metcalfe up with a colleague.

"I went to see her and said 'This is totally unacceptable, this gentleman deserves basic standards of care, this is somebody's father, somebody's husband'," Ms Hutchinson said.

An agency nurse described finding another man's bedside table crawling with "hundreds" of ants while he was sat on his bed eating his breakfast.

Kristina Parsons said she informed staff that the resident needed moving, but was told "he was a dirty man who needed to stay there".

The inquest is being held into the deaths of Albert Pooley, 89, and 85-year-olds James Metcalfe and Harry Kilvington. Credit: PA

Ms Parsons said that while she did not have direct dealings with any of the men whose deaths the inquest is looking into, she said she went into Mr Pooley's room hours after he had been admitted to hospital in April, only to find excrement in a commode and dirty wipes on the floor.

The coroner heard from the family of former lorry driver Mr Pooley who had dementia and other conditions.

They said that the 5ft 6in tall pensioner weighed 9.5 stone when he moved to the care home, but at the time of his death five months later he had lost around three stone.

Pathologist Dr Carl Gray told the hearing Mr Pooley showed signs of dehydration and was emaciated.

But he said that did not prove that neglect led to his death.

Mr Pooley died from a number of factors, including pneumonia, heart disease and a urinary infection and was on the end-of-life pathway, the inquest heard.

Dr Gray said Mr Metcalfe was an "elderly gentleman with chronic conditions".

Mr Metcalfe's GP told the hearing she found him attempting to eat fish and chips with his hands when she visited him at the home.

Dr Rachel Doswell said she saw he was sitting too far away from the plate, and added the meal was "completely inappropriate" for a man with two teeth.

Pamela Jackson, manager of another care home where Mr Kilvington was due to move after Sowerby House stopped offering nursing care, said she was struck by a very strong smell of urine when she visited the premises in October.

Mr Kilvington had a number of serious conditions including Alzheimer's and died from sepsis from a foot ulcer in November.

Paul Kelsey, a senior carer at the home, told the inquest standards have "drastically" improved.

The inquest continues.