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Red Cross nurse died after ‘unforgiveable care’, which left her with infected ulceration and dehydration: care home boss

16th April 2013

A Daily Mail news story tells of the neglectful care of a 74-year-old woman who died after contracting meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in a care home. She had dementia and was supposed to have been receiving 24-hour care at Waterloo House care home, Bidford-on-Avon. Rita Smith, a former Red Cross nurse who had taught first aid for 25 years, had developed a grade 4 sacral pressure ulcer while at the care home because she had not been moved  — on one occasion she was left in the same position for 13 hours. She died after the pressure ulcer became infected. She was also severely hydrated and had received what her daughter called ‘unforgiveable’ care that had left her ‘fused’ into the fetal position. The care home have paid out a five-figure sum to the woman’s family. Rita Smith’s care plan had evidently not been followed at the £2000-a-month care home. She died in 2008 and a spokesperson for Alpha Care Homes apologised for her care and said that they had changed their way of working since that time.

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Prof Richard White 5 years ago

It is high time that we saw some high-profile prosecutions for manslaughter in such cases. This would ideally apply to management as well as those directly negligent. Ignorance is no longer an excuse, we all hate to hear the term "lessons will be learnt" as it rarely means anything at all.


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