Woman's death at Wigan care home sparks probe

A safeguarding investigation has been launched into conduct at a Wigan care home following the sudden death of an elderly woman.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 1:19 pm
Updated Friday, 21st December 2018, 2:23 pm
Westwood Lodge

Westwood Lodge Care Homee, off Poolstock Lane, is under scrutiny after 77-year-old Florence “Jackie” Harrison died from a kidney injury in October, just days after a fall.

Jackie’s devastated daughter, Denise O’Shaughnessy, said that failings from care staff resulted in her mum developing a “stage four” pressure sore on her back, which was only discovered by nurses when she went to hospital in her final days.

Denise said that her “usually happy and funny” mum first went to the home for an eight-week respite session, but never returned home after falling out of bed one evening.

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“She was on Warfarin,” she said. “I asked the home to call a doctor because she is supposed to call the doctor if she has a fall – but they never did.

“The day after, we went in to see her and there was nothing written down for a doctor to come.

“Finally after us having to ask, they ordered some blood tests.

“The hospital called the same day saying she needed to go in immediately and she died in there four days later.”

Former care worker Denise said in the four weeks leading up to her mum’s death, she would get answerphone messages in which she could hear her mum saying “help me”.

During Jackie’s admission to hospital, nurses found a stage four pressure sore on her back.

“Her legs were all swollen, they looked like elephant legs,” added Denise. “I feel so guilty now for letting her go in there.

“It was only supposed to be for a while and she was going to come back out.

“But after three weeks the damage was done. She couldn’t come out then.”

Denise said that following her mum’s death the coroner ordered a post-mortem, which concluded that her mum died of “acute kidney injury”.

Despite this, an inquest was not arranged as there was “no proof” of what had happened.

The council’s probe into Westwood Lodge Care Home continues, but town hall officials say that they are unable to confirm any details while it is ongoing.

A spokesperson for the home said: “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Mrs Harrison’s family at what will be a very difficult time.

“Our aim is to provide the kindest care for all our residents and we work closely with the local authority to thoroughly investigate any concerns, especially those that are raised by family members, and see if there are any lessons to be learnt.”