1. ITV Report

Inquest into care home death

Molly Darby shortly before she died Photo: Family photo

An inquest opens today to determine whether neglect played any part in the death of a 94 year old grandmother.

Molly Darby died four weeks after moving into The Beeches care home at Wath Upon Dearne near Rotherham in 2007.

The home denied any wrong-doing. But Rotherham council carried out an investigation and concluded there had been "neglect by omission".

Molly, who'd brought up seven children on her own, went into the home with Alzheimers. But her family claim that in the space of just four weeks, she weighed just five and a half stone - and that she looked like a concentration camp victim. They say she had deteriorated so badly that she had to be rushed into hospital suffering from numerous infections and could hardly open her eyes.

Molly's son, Ray, says the family decided to issue a photograph taken just before their mother died because they were so shocked at her condition.

At the time he said:

"The state Mum was in, I could have been physically sick. To say that she'd only been in there four weeks, walked in with Alzheimers and had to be stretchered out and with septicaemia, pneumonia, chest infection, ear infection, blood on her eyes, matted hair actually stuck to her skin, they couldn't move it, the nurse said it was really difficult and she was in distress."

"She used to walk every day shopping, you'd see her tottering down Wath in her little high heels, a bit of make-up on, wig on, very proud woman. We're a bit alarmed, we had a family discussion on whether to publish the pictures and we all decided it would be for the best, not for my Mum, for someone else."

Nurses at Barnsley hospital were so concerned about the condition the great grandmother arrived in from care home, they alerted social services.

The care home said at the time that it denied any neglect and all possible steps were taken to give Mrs Darby the "appropriate care and attention."

But following it's investigation, Rotherham Council said::

"We have completed our investigation into the case of Mrs Darby and have met with the family to discuss our findings. "We have concluded that there had been neglect by omission and have agreed a protection plan which outlines actions the home should take to improve its care."

The inquest, at Rotherham magistrates court, is expected to last two days.

Since Molly's death, a new company - MHA - has taken over the care home.