UK News Scots MS sufferer dies after choking on sausage roll at scandal-hit care home

06:50  26 january  2020
06:50  26 january  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Tom Fears et al. posing for a photo: Father-of-three Richy Passmore's family want answers over his death following an incident at Beechwood Care Home in Wishaw © Daily Record/Internet Unknown Father-of-three Richy Passmore's family want answers over his death following an incident at Beechwood Care Home in Wishaw

An MS sufferer died after choking on a sausage roll in a scandal-hit .

Dad-of-three Richy Passmore died after being left to eat lunch on his own despite clear instructions he should always be supervised, his family claim.

The 47-year-old was rushed to hospital after the alarm was raised at in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, but he could not be saved.

A joint probe by Police Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been launched into Richy’s death in September.

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Four months on, the former builder’s relatives have decided to break their silence.

They say they want answers about the care he received at the home, which has been at the centre of three abuse cases in the past two years.

Richy’s ex-wife Lesley, 45, said: “We’re in limbo and want to know what happened. Their incompetence has left our children without a dad.”

Lesley, who divorced Richy in 2012, cared for him throughout his illness. She has criticised the home for their lack of care and said staff were aware that he was never to be left alone while eating.

Richy Passmore with Rachael on his birthday © Daily Record Richy Passmore with Rachael on his birthday

Lesley said: “Multiple sclerosis had affected Richy’s motor skills and his short-term memory. His cognitive ability was affected. He was like a little boy.

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“Staff knew he couldn’t be left alone to eat because Richy didn’t realise when he had enough food. He didn’t know to chew and swallow before putting more in.

“The care home told us someone had been with him but there had been an emergency and the staff member had to leave.

“Richy had no mobility so if they had moved the tray with the food before they left he wouldn’t have been able to reach it.

“All they had to do was move the food a few inches. It would’ve saved his life.

“If someone had been there, he would’ve stood a chance. It was complete neglect.”

Richy, who was diabetic, was diagnosed with primary progressive MS in 2009. The neurological condition damages nerves in the body and makes it harder to walk, talk, eat and think.

There are more than 11,000 people in Scotland with the condition.

Richy was initially cared for at home by his mum Jean, 78. But as his needs became more complex, he moved into Glasgow’s Alexandra Court care home in 2017.

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She said: ‘The amount of the sausage roll and the position meant that any of the help given was unsuccessful.’ Coroner Dr Paul Marks recorded Speaking after the hearing, school head Gareth May said: ‘We will always remember Theo as a happy, laughing child, and our thoughts and prayers are

Tom Fears et al. on a beach posing for the camera: Richy Passmore with devoted daughter Rachael on a family holiday © Daily Record Richy Passmore with devoted daughter Rachael on a family holiday

Richy’s family, of Motherwell, said they had no choice but to place him in Beechwood when Alexandra Court closed down.

His daughter Rachael, 21, a childcare practitioner, said: “When my dad was diagnosed with MS, it had a terrible impact on our family. He had always been so active and fit and it was incredibly difficult to see what the disease was doing to him.

“He was very determined but ended up confined to his bed 24/7.

“We all pitched in to help but weren’t medically trained and, even changing his T-shirt, we were terrified we’d hurt him. His diabetes also complicated things because he couldn’t take so many of the medications needed to slow down his MS.”

Richy moved to Beechwood, which is run by Holmes Care Group, in October 2018. Rachael claims his death was the last in a series of failings by the care home.

She added: “At first, the place looked great but soon I realised there were never any staff around. When I’d visit my dad, I’d have to go running for a nurse because someone had pressed their buzzer.

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Sausages are a meat product usually made from ground meat, often pork, beef, or poultry, along with salt, spices and other flavourings. Other ingredients such as grains or breadcrumbs may be included

Choking occurs when breathing is impeded by a constricted or obstructed throat or windpipe. In some cases the air flow is completely blocked, in other cases some amount of air can pass to the lungs.

“When staff would ask him if he wanted sugar in his tea, I’d have to remind them he was diabetic and couldn’t have sugar.

“They’d put down scalding hot cups in front of him. It wouldn’t have taken much for him to spill it over himself.

“He’d never have his buzzer on him so he couldn’t contact staff. My dad had a care plan but it was never kept up to date.

“Staff would assure me he’d eaten but couldn’t tell me what or when. Sometimes he looked almost unconscious as his sugar levels were so low but they would say they had just checked them.

a group of people posing for the camera: Richy Passmore with sons Ryan and Craig © Daily Record Richy Passmore with sons Ryan and Craig

“I never felt comfortable with him being there but, because of my dad’s medical needs, we couldn’t just take him out.”

On September 18 last year, care home staff told Lesley there had “been an incident” and asked her to go to University Hospital Wishaw, formerly known as Wishaw General.

She rushed to collect Rachael and their sons Craig, 18, and 14-year-old Ryan. Richy passed away before they got there.

Lesley, an office worker, said: “I’d always prepared the kids and told them because their dad was sick he’d never grow to be an old man. But I never expected Richy to die like that. We didn’t get to say goodbye.”

The family hope the investigation will shed light on the circumstances surrounding Richy’s death.

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Marleen dropped 100 pounds after being diagnosed with MS . She is pictured after her transformation weight loss, which she said she did because the severe symptoms were taking such a toll on her life. 'The morning of my test I could not talk. My speech was slurred, I was choking on my words.

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Lesley added: “We need to know what happened to Richy and why. We don’t want anyone to go through what we have.”

The Care Inspectorate said: “We were notified appropriately of the tragic death of a resident at Beechwood Care Home and our thoughts are with those affected.

“We have liaised closely with colleagues at Police Scotland and are aware that this matter will be considered by the Crown’s Health and Safety Investigations Unit. We will consider their findings carefully and will inspect this service again in due course.”

Police said: “We received a report of the sudden death of a 47-year-old man at Wishaw General on September 18, 2019. A report was submitted to the procurator fiscal.”

The Crown Office said: “A joint investigation by Police Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive into the death is ongoing and, once complete, will be fully considered by the Crown’s Health and Safety Investigations Unit.”

a sign on a pole: The Beechwood Care Home in Wishaw © Daily Record The Beechwood Care Home in Wishaw

A Health and Safety Executive spokesman said: “HSE is aware of this incident and is investigating.”

Beechwood provides care to people over 65 and those with dementia-related conditions.

The family have approached Thompsons Solicitors to prepare taking legal action against Beechwood.

Their lawyer Natalie Donald said: “We have been instructed to begin legal action against the care home in respect of their shocking negligence which led directly to Mr Passmore’s avoidable and deeply distressing death.

“We expect an admission of liability given the straightforward circumstances of the case. Rachel’s dad should never have been left to die alone.”

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A Beechwood Care Home spokesman said: “Our deepest sympathies are with Mr Passmore’s family. He is dearly missed.

"We undertook our own full review into the circumstances surrounding his passing. All the paperwork relating to this was given to the Care Inspectorate and we are working with them and the other relevant agencies to support their ongoing review.

“We are confident our care and nursing team followed his care plan and acted appropriately at the time of the incident by taking immediate action to support Mr Passmore, contact emergency services and attempt to resolve the situation in line with best practice.

“We have put in place additional measures to further improve how we support residents. These include staff meetings so everyone has the latest information about our residents.”

Probes put standard of care at Beechwood in spotlight

Richy’s death is not the first time Beechwood Care Home has faced questions over the standard of care it provides.

In September 2018, shocking images emerged which showed two half-naked care workers apparently mocking OAPs.

An investigation was launched and four employees were suspended.

The home was forced to apologise for their staff’s behaviour, which was described as “inexcusable and scandalous” by charity group Age Scotland.

The appalling pictures came weeks after a care worker employed at the home was struck off for putting an elderly woman with dementia in “solitary confinement” as a punishment for requesting more food.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council found that Jacqueline Kelly’s behaviour placed vulnerable residents in her care at a risk of harm and caused distress.

And in June last year, David Chambers, a worker at the care home, was also struck off for abusing residents.

He had dragged one woman by the wrist and her armpit.

Chambers also refused to allow another woman to go to bed when she wanted and lifted a third female resident under her arms rather than using a full-body hoist.

He also tied a knot in an elderly woman’s dressing gown so she could not undo it.

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