Family wants answers from Kirkcaldy care home

Mrs Bell
Mrs Bell

The family of a frail, elderly woman with dementia are still seeking answers from a Kirkcaldy care home after their mother suffered a serious fall which they claim “robbed her of her life.”

Ninety-three-year-old Jean Bell fell down concrete steps at Marchmont Care Home in February this year, suffering a fractured skull which resulted in a blood clot pressing on part of her brain.

She also had a fractured cheek bone and a cut to her face requiring 60 stitches, and is now completely bedridden and cannot feed, wash or even communicate with her daughter and two sons.

Her devastated family were told that the fall had not been witnessed by any staff at the care home as she had been left unsupervised in a day room with two other male residents after having their meal.

She was later found lying outside the fire door of the building at the bottom of four concrete steps with her zimmer frame.

Jean spent over four months in hospital and has only recently been moved to another care home in the town.

Her daughter Grace, who lives in Edinburgh, says the family has had no proper answers from the home on how their 4’7” frail mum managed to open a fire door which carers struggled to open, and why she was left unsupervised.

“This latest fall almost killed our mum and in a way it is like she is dead because she just lies in her bed and cannot do anything for herself,” said Grace.

“What I want to know is why a care home, with an obvious duty of care, left a 93-year-old woman with dementia in a room unsupervised and unable to be seen by any of the staff.?”

Grace said this was not the first fall her mother had suffered, with another unwitnessed one in June 2014 which resulted in a broken arm and another in October 2015 when she fell down two steps outside the kitchen causing a fractured collar bone.

Grace said the family chose Marchmont because it was in the area where their mum had spent most of her life.

She explained that, despite suffering from dementia for several years when she moved there in July 2010, she would chat about events from the past and loved to go for runs in the car with her family.

Despite repeated attempts to obtain a response from Marchmont Care Home, which is run by Rosturk House Ltd, nobody returned our calls.

A spokesman for the Care Inspectorate, the watchdog for care homes, said: “This was a very serious and distressing matter and our thoughts are with the family affected.

“We investigated and upheld this complaint, making two formal requirements for improvement. We also made a further recommendation, setting out how the service must swiftly improve the quality of care provided and protect the safety of residents. The quality of care is insufficiently good and must improve, and we are working with the home to make that happen.

“Anyone with concerns about a care service can contact our helpline on 0345 600 9527.”