HOLMWOOD HOUSE ‘CARE’ SCANDAL: CENSORSHIP AND COVER-UP IN BRISTOL?

Web ExclusiveFollowing on from our exclusive story about Holmwood House care home, The BRISTOLIAN here reprints word-for-word a statement sent in to Bristol City Council by the son of a resident ENDED UP DEAD in circumstances that would make any reasonable person very concerned.

Its HEARTFELT MESSAGE, intended to be read out at today’s Cabinet meeting, seems to be something which neither Bristol’s Bedwetter-in-Chief, Mayor Red-Nappy himself, nor his middle management cronies, want you to hear.

That’s certainly what the various attempts by senior bureaucrats to prevent the statement’s author from presenting his statement or addressing the meeting look like to anybody outside of their cosy BCC bubble. They’ve spent the last day or so going REDACTION CRAZY, crossing out as much detail in the statement as possible with their big black felt pens, as if to minimise any possible comeback against council officers or policy. That’s on top of trying to strong-arm the author (whose father died in their care) into not mentioning the names of any people, places, companies or court cases – which are already a matter of public record.

“The statement’s defamatory!” they cry, as if they were high court judges instead of the cheap apologists for the abusers of the elderly that they actually are.

As usual the actions of these petty town hall bosses appear designed to protect the guilty and screw ordinary, innocent Bristolians unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of their outsourced ‘care’ or their cut-price ‘safeguarding’.

Anyway, anyone mentioned in this statement – as those at Shitty Hall know full well – is more than welcome to take action. We wait with interest…

Three years ago this coming January my father passed away under dubious circumstances whilst in the care of Holmwood House Nursing Home. Kenneth Albert Norman was placed in to the of care Holmwood House by the Adult Community Care team after suffering horrendous abuse and neglect at the hands of Mimosa Health Care. Another provider who were fully supported by Bristol City Council and who received millions of pounds from the city’s coffers to provide quality care and end of life facilities to the most vulnerable in society – the elderly.

The establishments’ run by Mimosa within the city were continuously investigated by the biggest toothless tiger on the planet. One that in most sensible thinking people’s minds should be disbanded and replaced with something that can bite. This organisation is the Care Quality Commission.

What action did Bristol City Council take when serious failings were found? Ummm they continued to give this provider millions until their demise. Through this stupidity and madness you helped this provider continue to abuse and neglect the most vulnerable in society and not once has an elected official or senior manager apologised to those that suffered or their families who are left with the permanent scars and nightmares created by the madness of this provider.

We now have a new provider of abuse and neglect on the block – Holmwood House Nursing Home, Westbury-On-Trym. When Kenneth Albert Norman passed away, I requested an inquest in to his death. During this process I made a request through the coroner’s office to obtain his medical records from Holmwood House. The coroner’s office were then informed by Holmwood House that “the gardener had burned/destroyed them in a bin in the back garden of the home.”

This was less than a year after his passing and it effectively scuppered any chance of the files being inspected by me or the coroner’s office before an inquest. After the inquest these records rose like a Phoenix from the ashes and re-manifested themselves. I along with other members of my family have a lasting vision etched on our brains of our father led out in a hospital bed at 01.00am dead and we will never have the answers as to why.

Three weeks ago I was approached by a lady called Mrs Annette Whiting seeking my assistance and help after her mother, Katherine Cole, died of pneumonia twelve days after leaving Holmwood House Nursing Home, having inexplicably lost her swallowing reflex and one third of her body weight.

She died despite six safeguarding investigations by Bristol City Council – who placed the woman in the home – into the care Katherine was receiving at Holmwood House during her last fifteen months there. The city council did a seventh safeguarding investigation following the woman’s death.

I have seen the safeguarding reports and the material is shocking. One report describes two potential assaults on Katherine by nurse Cicily Joseph, who was later charged with one count of common assault for performing an enema on Katherine without proper permissions. Ms Joseph escaped a conviction for this on appeal.

A second potential assault charge for performing a ‘manual evacuation’, a considerably more serious and degrading assault, never came to court. Although seven staff have stated that Ms Joseph had clearly told them that she performed “a manual” on the woman. Staff say Ms Joseph also told them that she had performed the procedure on a male resident with learning difficulties and one member of staff witnessed this. Ms Joseph now works in another Bristol care home.

Meanwhile the ‘consultant’ employed by Holmwood House who worked directly with the council on many of their safeguarding investigations at the home was former nurse, Isla Meek. Ms Meek was struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council in 2012 after failing to report six deaths and keep proper drug records at a home in Whitchurch. Why both the city council and Holmwood House owner Ghassan Al-Jibouri consider Ms Meek a suitable person to carry out investigations in to the safety of adults in care homes is unclear.

It also appears that Ms Meek was directly involved in patient care at the home too. She claimed to the council’s final safeguarding investigation that on the morning that Katherine Cole was moved from Holmwood, she was sat up in bed eating porridge. An account that is disputed by legitimate medical practitioners who say the woman had no swallowing reflex on arriving at another care home a few hours later.

Similarly, Ms Meek and Holmwood can provide no explanation as to how the woman lost such a large amount of weight. What there is of Holmwood’s slapdash medical records – that have already  been heavily criticised by the CQC – seem to show the patient experienced no weight loss.

Her family are therefore left to believe their mother somehow lost a third of her body weight, her swallowing reflex and caught terminal pneumonia during a half hour ambulance journey to a new care home.

And to add insult to injury, Mrs Cole’s daughter, Annette Whiting, has requested her mother’s medical records from the home, only to be told that this will cost her £50 for copying. In the first instance, a charge of this magnitude is simply not legal and seems designed to prevent Mrs Whiting from accessing these records. Secondly, where’s the basic humanity from this home and its Bristol City Council backers? How can you charge recently bereaved relatives like this?

Does anyone here remember the No Secrets No Hiding Place In Bristol Policy? Has anyone considered renaming that policy ‘Plenty of Secrets Plenty of Hiding Place in Bristol as We Don’t Believe In Transparency’?

I say this to our esteemed Mayor before jetting of round the world on jolly boys outings. Do the job you were elected to do and get the big house on the green in order. I have no doubt that when this story becomes public knowledge and hits the civil courts you will have plenty of opportunity for press coverage and comments about our great city and its failure to protect the most vulnerable.

Three years may seem like a long time but I feel sure from the press I read Mr Ferguson that it is going to be a case of Sia Nara Mr Ferguson in three years time.

Stephen Norman.

You can watch the action live on the council’s website here from 6pm.

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