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Pensioner ‘is left in agony for days’ at Holloway care home

15:22 28 December 2012

Pauline Price (left) with her mother Lucinda Thomas

Pauline Price (left) with her mother Lucinda Thomas

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An elderly woman was left in excruciating pain for two days after care home staff failed to spot that she had broken her hip, her family has alleged.

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Lucinda Thomas, 89, was in pain from her neck down and could not bear to be touched.

But it is claimed that staff at Lennox House in Durham Road, Holloway, did not notice until alerted by Miss Thomas’ daughter – and then they said it could wait until the doctor visited the following day.

When Miss Thomas, who until recently lived in Upper Clapton, was eventually taken to hospital, it emerged that she had a broken hip and needed an operation.

An investigation has now been launched by Islington Council’s safeguarding team to establish exactly what happened.

Miss Thomas’s daughter Pauline Price, 66, a retired teaching assistant of Moundfield Road, Stamford Hill, is demanding answers.

Mrs Price said: “When I went there on November 8, I went to hug her and she screamed in pain. I asked her where the pain was and she said her right side up to her neck. I told one of the nurses and she said the doctor was coming the following day.

“I went to visit her on November 9 and they were about to take her to hospital by ambulance.

“The hospital confirmed she had broken her hip. She had a hip replacement on November 10.

“They said she had been in that situation, with a broken hip, for at least three days.

“Staff should have realised something was wrong. That’s the reason why I reluctantly put her into a home. I thought she was going to get 24/7 care.”

Miss Thomas, a retired factory worker who first came to the UK from Antigua in 1960 and until recently lived in Springfield, Upper Clapton, is now in a different home.

Lennox House, owned by Care UK, caters for up to 87 elderly people.

In 2008, allegations were made of two dead bodies being left in their beds for several days.

But at its most recent inspection in May, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that Lennox House was meeting all the essential standards of quality and safety.

Sheila Roberts, a spokeswoman for Care UK, said: “We are working closely with the local safeguarding team which is undertaking a full review of this case to agree what is in the best interests of the resident.

“Lennox is a well-run home which has received a recent favourable and fully-compliant CQC report.”

Cllr Janet Burgess, Islington Council’s executive member for health and wellbeing, said: “We take the welfare of vulnerable service users very seriously, and have launched a safeguarding investigation into this complaint. We’re unable to comment further on this case because of service user confidentiality.”

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