Holloway care home nurses accused of neglect face hearing

Nurses involved in an alleged case of neglect at a Holloway elderly care home are finally facing a medical hearing three years on.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) Conduct and Competence Panel is investigating five nurses’ care and treatment of an 83-year-old woman who died after spending around 10 days at Lennox House Nursing Home in Durham Road, Islington.

The panel heard this week that the elderly woman was taken to Accident and Emergency at Whittington Hospital in a diabetic coma on December 8, 2007. She died on December 27.

It is alleged that several serious signs of deterioration in the two days leading up to her hospital admission weren’t acted on.

These included agitation and a tendency to lay on the floor – symptoms which retired nurse Sue Bradell-Smith, who carried out the investigation of Lennox House in 2008, said were abnormal and would have made her “very worried”.

Other allegations include a failure to monitor the patient’s condition and diabetes, failing to create a pain management plan and feeding the patient fluids orally although her swallowing difficulties were known.

According to the home’s records, by the evening of December 8 she was suffering with continuous muscle spasms and had dysphasia, an inability to speak – yet it is claimed that the emergency services weren’t called straight away.

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NMC’s solicitor John Lucarotti said the treatment provided fell far below what is expected of a nurse.

Opened in August 2007, Lennox House – which is owned by Care UK – was registered to care for 56 dementia sufferers and 31 other elderly residents.

It was investigated twice for neglect within seven months of opening.

Attention was drawn to the nursing home in the summer of 2008 when allegations of two deceased bodies being left in their beds for several days came to light.

And an unannounced inspection by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) in June 2008 rated Lennox House as “adequate” and gave it one star.

The former manager of Lennox House, Sheila Ali, who resigned from her position at the home in January 2008 whilst suspended, denies all charges.

These include a failure to document accurately the patient’s condition, failing to call a GP, failing to provide sufficient training and a failure to ensure staff were formally supervised.

Deputy manager, Inez Elizabeth East and nursing staff Maria Rholyn Secuya, Dahlia Dela Cerna and Catherine Igdokew also face misconduct charges.

The hearing continues.