‘The care system failed my grandmother’

An Eastbourne woman is calling for change after she claims the care system “failed” her late grandmother.

Friday, 12th April 2019, 1:03 pm
Updated Friday, 12th April 2019, 4:07 pm
Colin Fry and Michelle Ruffold hold a photograph of Colin's mum Hannah Fry (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Michelle Ruffold claimed her grandmother Hannah Fry ended up a “fraction of the person she went in as” after being a patient at Dorley House Care Home in Bedfordwell Road.

She said, “We put her into care to look after her. Nobody has taken responsibility or apologised. We have been fighting all this time. The care system failed her.”

Mrs Ruffold said her family eventually filed a safeguarding complaint to adult social care raising concerns for the welfare of the 96-year-old, who suffered dementia.

Hannah Isabel Fry before and after she was a resident at Dorley House Care Home in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Among their complaints were “serious hygiene issues”, including finding her with faeces on her hands and under her nails, and Mrs Fry not showering in 12 days.

Mrs Ruffold said, “They took her dignity from her, it’s disgusting. There was an appalling lack of hygiene. They didn’t seem to have any kind of compassion.”

The family said they would find piles of dirty, faeces-stained, clothes on her bedroom floor and in her wardrobe, as well as other people’s clothes.

The family also said her false teeth were not cleaned, resulting in rotting food building up on them.

Photograph that was taken of conditions that Hannah Fry had to allegedly experience whilst she was a resident at Dorley House Care Home in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

They also said her lack of hygiene and poor diet led to a urine infection, and claim bruises on her arms were the result of her being grabbed.

Mrs Fry suffered a fall and was taken to Conquest Hospital in Hastings, where she died in September 2017.

East Sussex County Council said two safeguarding enquiries were carried out, which identified some areas the home needed to improve, which it said were met.

A spokesperson for the council said, “We are confident we have acted properly and the correct procedures were followed. We met with Mrs. Fry’s family on a number of occasions and provided a comprehensive written response to the family’s concerns. We are sorry they remain dissatisfied.”

Mrs Fry's family say her false teeth were not cleaned (Photo by Jon Rigby)

A statement form Dorley House said, “We appreciate that the loss of a loved one is devastating and our sympathies are with the family.

“The safeguarding incident referred to by the family was fully investigated by the Safeguarding Adults Complaints team at East Sussex County Council. We work closely with all regulatory bodies to ensure compliance and provide good standards of care.”

The family say piles of faeces-stained clothes were left in Mrs Fry's bedroom (Photo by Jon Rigby)