Better care home checks call after Northampton deaths


The daughter of an 83-year-old woman who died after suffering "severe neglect" at a care home has called for a change to the way they are inspected.

Doreen Sheridan, who had Alzheimer's, was one of five residents of Parkside House Nursing Home in Northampton who died between 22 July and 6 August 2009.

A serious case review into the deaths found they died from causes "consistent with the effects of severe neglect".

Mrs Sheridan's daughter Marie Robinson called for more unannounced checks.

She said unless this happened problems would never be stamped out.

'Severe neglect'

The review said that by July 2009, the home "simply could not manage".

The Northamptonshire Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Board (SOVA) said an action plan had been put in place to prevent the situation being repeated.

But Mrs Robinson, also from Northampton, said: "My point is that you will never catch them out while you give them 28 days' notice, the inspection should be unannounced.

"They should turn up on the doorstep with the authority to inspect the home.

"You will never stamp this problem out in any care home, whether for vulnerable children or adults, unless the inspectors go in unannounced, and regularly."

She said her mother, a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force in World War II, was in the home for nearly five years.

"It's all very presentable but over a period of time you notice the little things like never having her hair washed and set," she said.

She said her mother had also been left in urine-saturated clothes, and often had dirty fingernails.

Mrs Robinson said she tried to raise the problem with officials and some suggestions were made by inspectors, but they were not checked.

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