The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: The Ombudsman has discontinued its investigation into poor care at Cherry Tree House care home. Mrs D’s records have been destroyed in a flooding incident and an investigation is therefore impossible. The Home has agreed to pay Mrs D’s daughter £400 in recognition of its failure to provide the records.
- Mrs B complains on behalf of her mother, Mrs D, who has passed away. She complains about the care Mrs D received at Cherry Tree House which is a care home in Stockport.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We can decide whether to start or discontinue an investigation into a complaint within our jurisdiction. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 24A(6) and 34B(8), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I have discussed the complaint with Mrs B. I have considered the documents that she and the Council have sent and the Council’s comments on the draft decision.
What I found
- Mrs D was admitted to the Home in October 2018 after she left hospital. She stayed in the Home for 18 days.
- Mrs B made the following complaints about the care that Mrs D received while she was at the Home. Mrs B said the Home did not have the correct equipment such as a toilet aid. She said Mrs D’s chair was too low and the bed was on the wrong pressure.
- Mrs B said staff did not respond to Mrs D ringing the bell at night and the call bell did not work for two days. She said one member of staff was rude to Mrs D and on one occasion Mrs D was left in the bathroom with no clothes on. She said on the last day of Mrs D’s stay she was given a wheelchair with no footplates. She said Mrs D’s skirt was wet and she was retching in her chair.
- Mrs B said Mrs D’s health deteriorated in the Home and Mrs D was admitted to hospital after her stay.
- I requested all the records from the Home to carry out my investigation. The Home’s manager contacted me following my request and said there had been flooding in the region which had flooded the Home’s basement. Unfortunately, Mrs D’s case records had been damaged and were illegible.
- Therefore, the Home could not provide the Ombudsman with the information that had been requested. The Home has agreed to pay Mrs B £400 to recognise its failure to provide the records. The Council agreed with this proposal.
- As the records are no longer available and as the Ombudsman can therefore not conduct a full investigation, I will discontinue the investigation.
- I have discontinued the investigation as the records are not available.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman