WAS this a gross failure of care? My answer to that is yes.
That is what deputy coroner Lincoln Brookes told Portsmouth Coroner’s Court about Pamela Ratsey who developed a ‘foul-smelling’ and ‘black’ sore that became infected while at Haven Care Home before she died last year.
The 81-year-old from Portsmouth, who spent almost two years in the care home, died from osteomyelitis, a bone infection, and pneumonia, shortly after being moved to another care home.
Following the conclusion of the four-day inquest, the family told The News that Ms Ratsey’s treatment at the home in Drayton was ‘sickening’.
Portsmouth Coroner’s Court heard how Ms Ratsey was left in a ‘dishevelled’ state including being left to wallow in her own faeces and having mould ‘growing out of her ears’, as well as being left for long periods - exacerbating her sores.
Deputy coroner Lincoln Brookes recorded a death of natural causes contributed to by neglect.
Her niece Hilary Schwager, who described her aunt as a ‘glamorous’ and ‘talented’ woman, said the family was pleased the ‘neglect’ was recognised.
The 52-year-old from Havant said: ‘It is absolutely sickening how they have treated her. We heard about things in that inquest that we didn’t even know had happened. There was an instance at night where she was crying every time they moved her and no-one called the doctor until the next morning.
‘She was such a glamorous woman and always made sure to look her best and to think she ended up covered in her own urine and whatever else is terrible.’
Mr Brookes said: ‘Was this a gross failure of care? My answer to that is yes.
‘Had re-positioning of Pamela taken place throughout January, 2018, then it is my view on the balance of probabilities that her wound would not have had deteriorated in the way that it did and the sore would have not let in part to her death.
‘It is my assessment that this was a total and complete failure to protect Pamela.’
Pathologist Brett Lockyer said Ms Ratsey’s sacrum sore, at the bottom of her spine, was ‘extremely deep’ with it exposing bone resulting in infection.
Haven Care Home did not want to comment when approached by The News.