The family of an 85-year-old woman who was cruelly taunted and mimicked by her carers have released shocking images of the ‘horrific pressure sores’ she suffered whilst in same home, showing she was also subjected to agonising physical neglect.
Pressure sores on Freda Jobson’s lower back, heels and feet have been described as ‘some of the worst seen’ by Lauren Dale, a medical negligence specialist at Hudgell Solicitors, who is representing the family.
It comes after three former care workers from the Keldgate Manor Residential Care Home in Beverley, East Yorkshire, admitted ill-treatment of the dementia sufferer.
Tracy Priestley, 41, Danielle Snowden, 25, and Sophie Hinchsliff, 24, were caught laughing among themselves as the elderly resident was asked if she was a witch who ‘performed black magic’ before a bandage was removed from a sore on her elbow and wrapped around her head.
The ill-treatment was only discovered after Mrs Jobson’s worried family used a spy camera disguised as an alarm clock, which they bought online for £15, to film her care, looking for reassurance that she was being well looked after.
Now, her family have taken the further step of revealing shocking pictures of the ‘horrific’ pressure sore injuries she developed on a number of areas of her body whilst she was a resident at the same residential home.
The images have today been published WARNING – GRAPHIC IMAGES OF INJURIES CONTAINED IN NEWSPAPER REPORTS
Family supports Hudgell Solicitors campaign for CCTV in care homes
Mrs Jobson’s family are launching legal action as a result of the injuries, through Hudgell Solicitors, and supporting our campaign calling for CCTV to be made compulsory in all care homes across the UK.
We are calling for CCTV to be compulsory in all care and residential homes as part of our ‘Love Our Vulnerable and Elderly’ (LOVE) campaign.
We believe it can bring improved standards and benefits for families, including increased protection against abuse, both physical and mental, by care home staff or other residents, and greater confidence for relatives when placing their loved ones within the care industry
Importantly, we think the introduction of CCTV can help ensure the elderly and vulnerable are loved, respected, protected and cared for with dignity at all times.
If 10,000 people sign an e-petition by June 2, the Government will be required to provide a response. 100,000 signatures could see it make the agenda in Parliament, and then the matter of CCTV could be forced onto the agenda at Whitehall.
Pressure sores left residents skin ‘looking like raw meat’
Despite it being accepted medically that around 95 per cent of pressure sores can be avoided with appropriate care, they had developed despite the home having identified Mrs Jobson as being at high risk of developing them as long as 15 months before she left.
Sores on her right hip and right buttock measured 6cm x 3cm with a depth down to the bone, with ‘extensive underlying tissue damage and destruction.’
These have been classed by an independent medical expert as being the worst level ‘Grade 4’ sores, which require immediate treatment and usually surgery to remove.
She also had Grade 4 sores to her toe and elbow, whilst her heel was in such a bad state it was considered ‘ungradeable’, with 85 per cent dead tissue.
Mrs Jobson’s daughter Maddy, 51, said: “The home tried to tell us the sores would not have been too painful for her, but all you need to do is look at the pictures. They are almost too much to look at. Anyone knows how painful it is when you have any sore part of your skin. My mum had no skin left in areas.
“When we took a sock off her foot she was dripping in blood, there was a foul smell, and it looked like a piece of raw meat. The skin was down to the bone. Her ankle and her lower back were horrendous.”
“Injuries are truly shocking, and some of the worst we have seen” – solicitor Lauren Dale
Lauren Dale, a specialist in care home neglect and abuse cases at Hudgell Solicitors, said: “The sores Mrs Jobson suffered whilst a resident at Keldgate Manor Residential Care Home are truly shocking.
“Allowing an ulcer to escalate to a level where you can see the bone is almost always inexcusable, and that is why we are now asking serious questions over this aspect of Mrs Jobson’s care.
“We are sure anyone looking at these photographs will be shocked. They are very upsetting and make it clear that Mrs Jobson was left in significant pain and discomfort as a result of negligent care.
“She was not only subjected to abuse at the hands of her carers, who have now admitted their cruelty and been sentenced in court, but she was also subjected to an appalling standard of care in that she had these horrific pressure ulcers to to her heel, sacrum and hips
“These injuries are truly shocking, and certainly some of the worst pressure ulcers we have seen in our work.
“The pressure ulcers have improved significantly since Mrs Jobson was moved from Keldgate, and this highlights how more could and should have been done for her in terms of the care provided, and that these ulcers could have been prevented, or in the alternative treated.
“This is the latest in a long-line of cases where an elderly and vulnerable person has been subjected to appalling abuse in a care or residential home. It has to stop.”
“CCTV is the only way to ensure elderly people are protected”
Mrs Jobson says the campaign to make CCTV compulsory in all care and residential homes is one she fully supports for those like her mother who are not able to defend themselves or speak out when they are being mistreated.
“People talk about privacy, but would anyone want to think that their loved ones were being treated in this way and stripped of their dignity as my mum was?” she said.
“We took action ourselves and got the spy camera off the Internet, but we shouldn’t have needed to do that. CCTV is the only way now to ensure people are protected, and to hopefully prevent more suffering for other elderly people.
“If we’d have been given the option of having cameras in my mum’s room we’d have taken it. They’d be no room for argument then. We’d know exactly what care she’d been given when we were not there.
“I want to urge everybody to sign this petition and let’s make a difference for our elderly and vulnerable. Let’s stop this happening and let’s protect the ones we love.”
Research shows that 95 per cent of pressure ulcers are avoidable if treated appropriately – usually by assessing a patient’s vulnerability to pressure sores on admission and then by simply providing an appropriate mattress, making sure they move and, if necessary, are turned.
Mrs Jobson, a great-grandmother of six, was moved to a new home after her family discovered the mental abuse when reviewing the film caught on camera last March.
They said they were ‘sickened’ by what they saw, with the footage leading to the resulting police investigation, and Mrs Jobson being transferred to Beverley Community Hospital, where she remains today.
The three carers from Keldgate Manor Residential Care Home were all sacked by the company soon after the abuse footage surfaced, and each admitted a charge of ill-treating or willfully neglecting a person without capacity, contrary to section 44 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Their actions were described in court as ‘disgraceful’ ‘cruelty’ and ‘bullying’.
They were each handed 12 month community orders. Hinchsliff and Snowden were ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid works and told to each pay £1,500 in compensation to Mrs Jobson. Priestley was ordered to complete 240 hours.
She was also given a three-month curfew order. All three were also banned from being carers again.
To sign the petition calling for CCTV to be installed in all care and residential homes go to https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/114019