Care home admits failures after resident's death

A care home operator has admitted responsibility for the death of a 72-year-old on a two-week stay at the facility - who could have been saved if medical attention had been sought earlier, according to a coroner.

Dementia sufferer Anthony Dearnley - known as Tony - rapidly went downhilll while he was at Wyton Abbey Residential Home, in Wyton, near Hull, East Yorks.

The 72-year-old suffered a series of falls, leaving him with bruises.

But despite his decline, staff were accused of failing to take appropriate action.

When the home finally called paramedics on the day of his death, rapid response teams and ambulance teams reported that they found him appearing "neglected" and being "critically ill", with a strong odour and bedding needing changing.

They also found Mr Dearnley had a dislocated hip, and suspected he was suffering from pneumonia. Mr Dearnley died three hours after arriving at Hull Royal Infirmary, from aspiration pneumonia.

At his inquest, a coroner concluded that he could have been saved if they had sought medical help sooner.

At the request of East Riding Safeguarding Adults Board, a serious case review was carried out at the home -which is owned by national company Prime Life Ltd - due to serious concerns about Mr Dearnley's condition at the time of his death in 2012.

The review was published in October 2013 and made 23 recommendations. Two years later, the care home closed.

Now, the Tony's family have finally seen justice delivered - after the care home admitted being responsible for his death.

Tony's wife Kay died before she saw they admit liability.

Prime Life Ltd agreed to pay £5,000 damages to his estate.

As he had no spouse or dependents, the amount of damages offered was at the lower end of the scale.

The report said staff "did not appear to understand the seriousness of Mr Dearnley's condition and failed to respond on a number of different counts".

There were also concerns raised about the death of a 65-year-old resident and a number of general failures at the home over a 15-month period.

It noted several failings, including the failure to seek medical attention and failing to inform a visiting district nurse that he had suffered a number of falls.

Tony's family said he was healthy and active despite his dementia. His loving wife Kay was his full-time carer, and when he was at the care home it was was her first break for a long time.

Wyton Abbey was closed in 2015 and was 'archived' on the Care Quality Commission website on May 8, 2015, having being de-registered by its owners.

Responding to the claim made regarding Mr Dearnley's death, insurers acting on behalf of owners Prime Life Ltd wrote: "Upon consideration of both content of the Serious Case Summary and Coroner's verdict, a viable defence to the allegations of neglect is unrealistic."