An investigation has been launched into the treatment of a Wigan cancer patient who received “horrendous” end-of-life care at a troubled home.
The heartbroken family of Malcolm Oxley, who spent 10 days at Westwood Lodge Care Home before his death in December 2016, say they are “disgusted” to see that “nothing has changed” in the past two years.
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Mr Oxley, who was only 61 when he died from “natural causes”, was transferred from the Poolstock Lane care home to Wigan Infirmary after being given too much prescription medication for prostate cancer.
His devastated niece, Rachel Wright, said that the overdose occurred due to a “lack of communication” between doctors and care staff.
Following a recent Care Quality Commission inspection into Westwood Lodge, which highlighted concerns over “inconsistent” end-of-life care, Ms Wright contacted the Wigan Observer to voice her anger over the home’s treatment of terminally ill residents.
“There were no care plans put in place for my uncle’s end of life care,” she said.
“One of the nurses gave him three overdoses and he ended up in Wigan Infirmary because there was an error between the doctor and the staff.
“They just weren’t providing the care that palliative patients needs. I had to take time off work - me and my mum were there all of the time.
“It was a nightmare basically - hell on earth.
“Why has nothing changed? What we had to go through was horrendous both as a family and for my uncle.
“He died in a place he didn’t want to be, he did not want to die in hospital. He suffered because of them.
“If they can’t do end of life care, that aspect should be taken off them.”
Since her uncle’s death, Rachel said that she has been to meetings with the council but is shocked to hear that the home, run by HC-One, continues to have problems with its end of life provision.
In the most recent report CQC officials wrote: “The inspection was prompted in part by information we received from the CCG regarding the quality of care planning documentation in relation to end of life care and the lack of qualified and permanent nursing staff to support people’s end of life care needs.
“We found the lack of completed documentation and poor communication between different staff roles was negatively affecting the provision of end of life care.”
Managers at HC-One, which was not in charge of the home at the time of Mr Oxley’s death, have apologised for the care he received in his final days.
A spokesperson said: “The health and wellbeing of all our residents is our highest priority.
“We acknowledge that, for Mr Oxley, we fell short of this and did not provide the best end of life care.
“We deeply regret not getting his care right during his stay with us in 2016 and we have apologised to his family.
“We have been working closely with the Wigan Safeguarding Team to carry out a full and thorough investigation into all the issues surrounding his care.
“Since that time we have made a number of changes to staff training, supervision and management of the team at the home.
“We have also partnered with Wigan and Leigh Hospice so our staff can provide end of life care.
“We are determined all our residents will receive the kindest care at all times and continue to strive to achieve this.”
Wigan Council has said that it will continue to work with the home.
Jo Willmott of Wigan Council, said: “We offer our deepest sympathies to Mr Oxley’s family and we appreciate their help throughout this difficult process for them. We continue to work with Westwood Lodge to try and help them improve their services.”