Death of woman, 87, sparks care home probe

Sandra Hodgson with a photograph of her late mother Freda Cable. Picture by FRANK REID
Sandra Hodgson with a photograph of her late mother Freda Cable. Picture by FRANK REID

Health chiefs have ordered a South Tyneside care home to improve after failings were exposed following the death of a great-grandmother.

Bosses at Bedewell Grange, in Campbell Park Road, Hebburn, have been told to improve record keeping, personal care and medicine management.

Freda Cable. Picture by FRANK REID

Freda Cable. Picture by FRANK REID

It is the second stinging criticism of the centre to emerge this week.

On Tuesday, the Gazette reported that national watchdogs the Care Quality Commission had also identified failings in a snap check in September.

It has now emerged that an inspection of the centre in July by health experts in the borough led to other failings being spotted.

That probe followed a complaint by the family of Freda Cable, 87, who was admitted to the home in January but died in South Tyneside District Hospital in February.

Bedewell Grange, Care Home. Picture by FRANK REID

Bedewell Grange, Care Home. Picture by FRANK REID

Her daughter Sandra Hodgson, 50, of Hadrian Road, Jarrow, claimed staff were unresponsive in seeking medical intervention when her mother fell ill, that they did not act on information she had supplied about her care, and failed to administer paracetamol when requested.

South Tyneside health commissioning boss Dave Jopling has accepted parts of the home’s care practices were not up to standard – and has apologised to Ms Hodgson.

The admission was made in a letter by Mr Jopling, Quality Lead at the South Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group’s Joint Commissioning Unit, to Mrs Hodgson following his investigation.

Ms Hodgson, a mum-of-five and grandmother, said: “My mum went downhill as soon as she went in there. They gave her no medication despite her telling them she was feeling poorly.

“It kills me every day knowing that I put my mum in that place.”

Ms Hodgson added: “I wish I had known about these criticisms about Bedewell Grange by the CQC before I put my mum in there.

“I will feel like her death was my fault for the rest of my life, and that is something that I will have to live with.”

Ms Hodgson had cared for her mum, who suffered dementia and had other health problems, since she was widowed 31 years ago.

Mrs Cable went into Bedewell Grange on January 15, to give her daughter a two-week break from her care duties.

Over the next month, she was admitted to South Tyneside District Hospital a number of times, lastly on February 19.

In his letter, Mr Jopling states: “Overall the investigation highlighted areas where the practice was not as good as it could have been, and I offer a sincere apology for this.

“The commissioning team have an action plan in place with Bedewell Grange which encompasses elements around record keeping, personal care and medicines management.”

South Tyneside Council, which investigated due to it being the bed commissioning authority, said it did not comment on individual cases.

Barchester Healthcare Homes Ltd said its team at Bedewell Grange offered their deepest condolences to Mrs Cable’s family.

A spokeswoman added: “We take complaints from our residents and their families very seriously and we are investigating the concerns that have been raised.

“We would like to reassure everyone, of our commitment to providing the highest quality of care to those residing at Bedewell Grange.”

The CQC criticised Bedewell Grange over patient safety, poor leadership and a failure of staff to interact with patients.