Nov 9 2012 By Magdalene Dalziel
Cargenholm Care Home
A Dumfries care home has been criticised for its reaction to an alleged sex attack on an elderly resident with dementia.
The Care Inspectorate was called in to investigate a complaint from the daughter of a 70-year-old woman reported to have been indecently assaulted by another resident.
And in its report on the incident it has ordered the Cargenholm Care Home to meet an action plan of improvements.
The watchdog agency upheld four complaints from the daughter of the victim of the alleged attack.
It found that the home had:
failed to contact the woman who has power of attorney over her mums interests;
failed to follow Dumfries and Galloway Councils adult support and protection procedures after the incident whereby another resident sexually assaulted the woman;
failed to call in a doctor after the assault to assess the patients physical and mental well-being;
failed to implement a protection plan to prevent the perpetrator being able to be in close proximity to the woman the morning after the assault.
The Care Inspectorate rejected one complaint that the manager of the home made inappropriate and unprofessional comments about the incident.
The womans daughter told that Standard that she wasnt informed about the incident until she attended a meeting at the home 10 hours later.
She said: It wasnt until halfway through the meeting that I realised it had happened the night before.
I was flabbergasted because it stated in her notes that I had to be contacted.
I was angry that they took the decision away from me but I didnt see what I could do.
She added: I have not done my duty as a daughter thats not how it is, but its how I feel.
I feel guilty that I couldnt keep my mother safe.
The Care Inspectorate investigation led to the home being downgraded in terms of quality of staffing.
The victims daughter says that up until the incident she had been happy with the level of care at the home, but was left stunned by the way the situation was handled.
She said: I want to make sure other families dont go through this and (they) use it as a learning curve.
Canterbury Care, which owns the home on New Abbey Road, has confirmed that an allegation was made.
But in a letter to the alleged victims daughter stated: It cannot be categorically stated an assault occurred.
A spokesman for the company said: An issue was raised by a resident, which was taken seriously, but has not been substantiated.
We regret any upset caused to the residents family by a perceived lack of initial communication and have written to them to express this.
The decision concerning communication with the family was taken based on the circumstances at the time and for genuine reasons and has been addressed internally.
We strongly believe that the Care Inspectorate report contains substantive inaccuracies regarding the actual incident and have raised this with them.
A senior Care Inspectorate officer was fully supportive of the actions of the home and the manager and conveyed this in a meeting with several senior members of our team.
We are completely confident in the care given at the home and are disappointed that the family has chosen to pursue both the home and specific individuals in what we believe is an unacceptable manner.
A spokesperson for the Care Inspectorate said: We can confirm a complaint was received in relation to an incident at Cargenholm Care Home and was fully investigated.
Four of the five elements of the complaint were upheld during our investigation process which also highlighted a number of concerns.
In light of these concerns a number of requirements for improvement were issued for the care home to action.
She added: We will continue to rigorously monitor the quality of care within the home going forward to ensure the safety, well-being and needs of all residents are being met.
We will work closely with the service to make ensure that immediate improvements are made.
The action plan includes a revision of procedures and more training for staff.
The alleged victim of the sex attack has been moved to another home.