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How could they leave Doris, 85, cold and hungry on the floor for hours?

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 29, 2014

Comments (7)

COLD and hungry without her medication, 85-year-old Doris Daley was left alone lying on the floor of her bungalow after a fall.

Her family from Longlevens believes she could have been there for anything up to 24 hours before she was found.

An investigation has been launched by her carers, Network Health and Social Care, to find out what went wrong when she was discharged from hospital and sent home to Cam. Doris suffers from osteoporosis, arthritis in her shoulders and a heart problem.

The great grandmother was supposed to be checked on in the evening and the following morning and but those two appointments were missed.

When she fell at home she was unable to get back to her feet, still recovering from a fall in November when she suffered three crushed vertebrae.

An official complaint has been submitted by her son Dennis and his wife, Lindy. They are desperate to find out what happened.

Dennis said: “On Saturday, April 19 we were contacted by the staff from the ward my mother was on at Gloucestershire Royal and told that discharge would be taking place on Easter Sunday.

“My wife spoke to the nurse concerned who asked how many visits within the package of care my mother was due to receive. It included three, one in the morning, one at tea time and one during the evening.

“The member of staff said she would speak to Network Health and Social Care and contact us again when this was done. This she duly did and my wife was informed three visits would be taking place and my mother would be discharged home via hospital transport.

“We bought provisions for my mother and were at her home when the ambulance arrived. She was very weak, frail, tired and very stressed and anxious. The carer arrived just after 4pm and started to make my mother some tea. We asked if someone else would be in later during the evening to help her get ready for bed. She didn’t seem to know.

“The next day neither myself or my wife were available, but my sister and her husband were due to visit that day, Easter Monday.

“On speaking to my sister later that day we were told that she had arrived at my mother’s bungalow around 1pm and found her on the floor.

“It appears she may had been there all night, possibly from early evening until my sister had arrived. No care visits had taken place the previous evening or the following morning, she was without food or water or medication for possibly 20 hours.”

Doris has suffered several falls in the past six months, receiving treatment at the Vale Community Hospital and in Cirencester.

On one occasion, an ambulance took three hours to arrive to help her up off the floor and take her in to hospital.

The Daley family is furious at her poor treatment. Lindy, her daughter-in-law, said: “It is absolutely appalling We are upset and disgusted at the way she has been treated. She was very confused and is now so anxious. Doris is really shaken up.”

Care providers Network Health and Social Care has apologised to the family for the distress caused and is carrying out an in-depth review of its services to ensure there is no repeat of the situation.

A spokesman for the South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust said delays to collect Mrs Daley from her earlier fall were due to high service demand at the time.

Doris remains in hospital.

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  • RWT1203  |  April 29 2014, 9:33PM

    Yes he could have remained with her, but he has every right to expect having been told that somebody would attend three times a day that they would. You cannot expect him to double up on care that is being provided, when no doubt he does his bit when the care is not available. Network Health have accepted blame and apologised and no fault can or should be attributed to her Son.

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  • GalaxyGirl1  |  April 29 2014, 8:20PM

    A lifeline alarm is a must for anyone vulnerable to falling, and a simple neck pendant means that they can press a button and get help. Surely someone who had had falls would have had this in place? And easy to blame the carers but the family were happy not to phone once during that time and just check she was ok especially after being home less than 24 hours. I worked as a carer and found most relatives lived within a few miles but thought it was everyone's responsibility but theirs to care for someone who have devoted years of their lives caring for them!

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  • c-30cares  |  April 29 2014, 3:07PM

    If i had been the carer that had gone in at 4pm and the family asked me if someone was coming back later, i would of rang the office and checked that someone was. Network need to look at organsining there system better and making sure this mistake does not happen again. I hope Doris makes a speedy recovery and is able to go home to a safe envoirment whether that be her home or a care home.

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  • emdia43  |  April 29 2014, 2:15PM

    She obviously is not safe to be left dependent upon the care of occasional visitors. She needs to be in an assisted living arrangement. The very least her family could do would be to provide her with a cell phone to call for help. Why did they even leave her alone there, when by their own assessment they found her weak, frail and anxious?

    |   7
  • Villager1950  |  April 29 2014, 10:16AM

    I rent an alarm system from Age UK for my Mother. £15 per month. She wears an alarm button and it gives both of us tremendous peace of mind.

    |   18
  • ladygray  |  April 29 2014, 9:05AM

    Sorry yes I missed that they live in Longlevens. Actually a lot of people work on Easter Sunday, health professionals / police/ firemen and women/publicans etc. As I said they had made sure there was a care package in place,so they thought she would be looked after.

    |   4
  • ladygray  |  April 29 2014, 8:36AM

    Mikehibby, that is so unfair, how do you know the son does not have young children to care for, or he may have been at work, they might not even live nearby. Also if you read correctly they had made sure there was a suitable care package in place. The fault surely lies with the service provider as they did not do the job they are paid to do.

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