A CARE worker told an inquest she had concerns over the treatment of a dementia sufferer found with mould growing out of her ears and sores exposing her spine.
Former Haven Care Home key worker Charlotte Rawlings told Portsmouth Coroner’s Court she had fears that Pamela Ratsey, 81, was not being ‘turned over’ enough by staff to relieve pressure on her horrific infected sore.
The inquest was told by pathologist Brett Lockyer the wound caused Ms Ratsey’s death along with pneumonia.
Ms Rawlings said the situation over turning ‘wouldn’t have changed’ even if she had told a manager about her worries.
The ex-employee also conceded there were ‘huge gaps’ in staff logging turning Ms Ratsey.
Deputy coroner Lincoln Brookes said: ‘There appears to be huge gaps in turning her, sometimes up to 16 hours.
‘Did you not think to raise this as a problem?’
Ms Rawlings replied: ‘If I had any concerns I would have told the manager.
‘If there was a gap in notes about turning it did not mean it wasn’t done - they might just not have written it down.’
She added: ‘It wouldn’t have changed even if I’d told the manager.’
Ms Rawlings also confessed to not making an entry after seeing the sore, with her saying: ‘I should have done it.’
She also admitted to not knowing that serious sores should be reported to the Care and Quality Commission (CQC).
The inquest heard from Claire Smith, deputy manager of the Havant Road care home in Drayton, who admitted turning Ms Ratsey four hours late after a log entry was shown to her. ‘By this (entry) yes,’ she said before adding: ‘I didn’t fill it in at the time but it may not have been four hours.’
Questions over staffing levels were put to Ms Rawlings after Ms Ratsey’s family barrister Mark Aldred referred to occasions when she was ‘left crying in her own faeces for four hours because there was only one staff member available’.
Ms Rawlings replied: ‘I don’t recall that.’
Mr Aldred said district nurses reported incidents where they found Ms Ratsey had been left after soiling or wetting herself.
Meanwhile CQC barrister Syan Ventom said: ‘What was the most likely cause of district nurses discovering Ms Ratsey soaked in urine? Incompetent or lazy staff?’
‘I can’t comment,’ Ms Rawlings fired back.
Mr Ventom added: ‘So it’s a mystery then.’
Business manager David Hall, whose wife Tess Hall and mother-in-law own Haven, told the hearing he never told Ms Ratsey’s family that ‘you can’t prevent sores’.
He said: ‘It must have been a misunderstanding.’
Coroner Mr Brookes replied: ‘It could be said that comment is indicative of the care home’s approach.’
But Mr Hall said: ‘I didn’t say it and that’s not our approach.’
Mr Hall also revealed his wife had left her role as manager after being ‘deeply affected’ following a CQC investigation into Ms Ratsey’s death.