A Boston care home has apologised and been asked to pay £600 to a former client and her family following a series of complaints – including failing to unpack her suitcase for two weeks – during her short stay there.
The Local Government Ombudsman rapped The Georgians care home after a woman, known in the report as Mrs X, complained about several aspects of poor care including poor record keeping, uncertainty about care provision and complaint handling.
Mrs X moved to the care home in early 2021 after struggling to manage at home, however, moved back out three months later because her family were unhappy about the standard of care provided.
They include failing to unpack Mrs X’s suitcase for 14 days after she moved in.
The home said it had not realised the bag was in her wardrobe, but the ombudsman said it “should have realised Mrs X did not have access to her personal possessions especially after two weeks”.
“It is entirely understandable that her family felt this demonstrated a lack of care.
“This was not in line with dignity and respect. I am satisfied Mrs X suffered a personal injustice as a result of this fault because of the frustration and confusion caused by her inability to access her suitcase.”
Complaints also included a failure to notify the family Mrs X was not engaging with physiotherapy, and not providing her with access to her phone and tablet for video calling.
The ombudsman criticised the care home’s six-line response to the family’s 12-page complaint as “inadequate and unhelpful”.
It noted a lack of records, such as a care plan, around some of her personal care.
However, it accepted several of the care homes reasons around and explanations for some of the complaints – including that it had been unaware of there were instructions around the charging of the iPad and that the phone was in the suitcase and available for use.
As part of the agreed action, the care home was asked to make a written apology to Mrs X and her family, pay £500 to Mrs X for the distress and uncertainty caused and to pay another family member, Miss P, £100 to acknowledge the failure to follow its complaint procedure.
It was also told to review its record keeping procedures and remind staff to properly record any assistance with private health appointments and to properly investigate complaints.
A spokesperson from the Georgians: “We are genuinely sorry for the difficulties experienced during this period of COVID lockdown.
“We work hard to include families as much as possible and we are sorry we did not come up to the family’s expectations at this time.
“We have made positive changes to ensure communication methods are strengthened in line with Government Guidelines and continue to work within these to ensure families are involved as much as possible.”