Cupar care home apologises for ‘shocking’ treatment of frail pensioner

Lunardi Court
Lunardi Court

Bosses at a Cupar nursing home at the centre of shocking allegations have given a strong assurance that practices have improved.

Inspectors from the Care Inspectorate were called to Lunardi Court Care Home last summer after a Cupar woman complained that her 88-year-old father had been the victim of abuse and neglect.

The Inspectorate upheld 11 of her 12 complaints and the care home was given two months to make improvements.

But the woman, who didn’t wish to be named in order to protect the identity of her mother, said she did not believe that changes had been made.

And she wants to spare others from the ordeal she claims her frail dad suffered during his three weeks at Lunardi Court.

She says her father, a retired police inspector, was robbed of his dignity and neglected by staff. She claims:

r on one occasion he was left sitting in a chair all night.

r that he wasn’t washed for a week

r that his dietary requirements weren’t met

r staff ignored his calls for the toilet

r and, most shockingly, he had bruising to his shoulder.

A spokesman for the owners of Lunardi Court, Four Seasons Health Care, said that as well as co-operating with the Care Inspectorate, an internal investigation was being carried out and disciplinary action being considered.

The care watchdog was called in after the daughter of an 88-year-old resident lodged complaints about his treatment at the 40-bed facility.

She told the Fife Herald: “My father had a number of medical conditions and required the care of a nursing home.

“I visited Lunardi Court and it seemed ideal to meet his needs.

“But when we arrived he was just taken straight to his room and wasn’t shown around; no paperwork was done and he wasn’t even shown how to access the emergency buzzer.

“The buzzer was in such a position that he couldn’t reach it anyway.

“He wasn’t washed for a whole week and it was 11 days before the kitchen was told about his dietary requirements, and when he was taken into hospital on July 20 he had dangerously high levels of potassium in his system.

“He died two days after being admitted.”

The man’s daughter said that while he was in Lunardi Court her dad went for three days without his medication because staff failed to have his prescription filled, and that his calls for the toilet were ignored.

“There were no carers at all in the dining-room to help residents with their food, and only two on duty at night, so I dread to think what might have happened if a fire had broken out.

“On one occasion I found my dad half in and half out of his bed, unable to reach the buzzer and with the sensor mat unplugged.

“Carers totally ignored residents who had soiled themselves and I even found bruises on my father which inspectors agreed were consistent with him being grabbed.”

In a statement, the Four Seasons spokesman said: “ The wellbeing of residents is our first concern and we are very sorry that the care provided to this resident last year was below the standards that we expect to provide.

“In addition to co-operating with the Care Inspectorate we have conducted our own internal investigation and it is apparent that in this instance there were some human errors and policies and procedures we have in place to support quality of care were not properly followed. We are currently considering an internal disciplinary process. This is how seriously we take it.

“We are implementing all of the Care Inspectorate recommendations and introducing further supervision and checks of our own to ensure this doesn’t happen again. While we make improvements the home’s care team are being given additional support by our regional management and our care quality facilitator.”