Family accuse Forest Hill Care Home of neglect after finding mum with dementia 'covered with dirt'

ITV News Central Correspondent Phil Brewster reports on the care home in Worksop accused of neglect

A family has accused a care home in Nottinghamshire of neglect, after finding their mother lying in bed with blackened feet.

They claim that Ann, who has dementia, also had bruising on her hand and some of her urinated-clothes were lying in a cupboard at the Forest Hill Care Home in Worksop.

The care home has apologised and says two staff members have been suspended pending an investigation.

For weeks, Ann's family, including her daughter Paula Yarnall, only had photos to look at after being unable to visit due to Covid.

But when they were finally able to see her earlier this month, they were shocked at what they found. 

Ann's daughter told ITV Central: "Her feet were absolutely covered with dirt that was ingrained and embedded into her feet.

"Her bedding was all full of this. And her toe nails were all overgrown. Her feet were just in a really, really bad state."

'It's absolutely soul-destroying for a member of your family to be suffering in this way'

Ann's family say they also found bruising on her hand and urine-soaked clothing belonging to her left in a cupboard.

Ms Yarnall said: "It's absolutely soul-destroying for a member of your family to be suffering in this way. And you're helpless to do anything

"We left her in the care of people that are being paid to do a job. They're paying for their care and they're not doing it.

"They've got serious failings and it's unacceptable."

They claim she had also been fed processed meat when she only eats fish. After months apart, the distress of seeing her this way has been overwhelming. 

Ann's son, Graham Boddice said: "I just want her to be alright when she's being cared for.

"I wasn't people to be caring and look after her properly.

"It breaks my heart the thought that people are not doing what they are supposed to be doing - not doing their job."

Jayne Connery, who runs Care Campaign for the Vulnerable, said Ann's story was sadly all too common.

She accepted pressure on care homes during Covid has been huge, and that recruiting trained staff was proving difficult.

But now she wants cameras in care homes to ensure transparency.  

She said: "People with dementia cannot evidence the issues that are going on in their care.

"And it's vital that the industry look at the benefits for both staff and for the families, and more so for the vulnerable people that are living in care homes."

A spokesperson from Barchester Homes, the care provider which runs Forest Hill has said it has apologised to the family.

They told ITV News: "We are in contact with the family and have taken a number of actions regarding the situation, whilst also having expressed our sincere apologies to them."

Two members of staff have been suspended while we conduct an investigation and we've notified the Care Quality Commission of the concerns raised".

The care home provider adds their senior team has "reviewed cleaning procedures and care plans and reiterated to the team what is needed."

They added: "The local CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group), local authority and social workers also visited the home.

"We cannot comment in detail but we can say that given the complexity of this case, some of the claims should be taken in context of the staff in the home wanting to respect resident’s own wishes.

"However, we are taking this extremely seriously and we will do everything possible to ensure this is addressed in full."

However, Ann's family has said that it is not enough and they want to move her as soon as possible.

They said that at £800 a week for her care, such neglect is unforgivable.