The spotlight is firmly on private care home HOLMWOOD HOUSE in Westbury-on-Trym after an elderly woman died twelve days after leaving their care, 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 the woman was receiving at Holmwood House during her last fifteen months there. The City Council began a seventh such investigation following the woman’s death.
The BRISTOLIAN has seen the safeguarding reports and the material is shocking. One report describes two potential assaults on the woman by nurse CICILY JOSEPH, who was later charged with one count of common assault for performing an enema on the woman 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 – though 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. One member of staff witnessed this. Ms Joseph now works in another Bristol care home.
In a further shocking revelation, we can also confirm that a ‘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 final safeguarding investigation that on the morning the woman 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 at all on arriving at her new 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 – which have been heavily criticised by the CQC – seem to show the patient experienced no weight loss.
Her family are therefore being led to believe that their mother somehow lost one-third of her body weight, her swallowing reflex and caught terminal pneumonia during a half-hour ambulance journey to a new care home.
This latest scandal comes just three years after another family with a deceased relative at the home was told that his medical records had all been burned by the gardener. Although, MIRACULOUSLY THE RECORDS REAPPEARED – after the coroner’s inquest was completed!
Family of the home’s latest victim are consulting lawyers with a view to taking action for negligence against the home, the city council and the home’s GP Dr Norman Douglas.
Good news then. This dump needs closing down immediately and the guilty and incompetent need to be identified and punished.