Relative tells inquest Portsmouth pensioner 'deteriorated quickly' after being admitted to care home

Pamela Ratsey
Pamela Ratsey
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A DEMENTIA sufferer was neglected by a care home after being left with ‘horrific’ pressure sores exposing bone, an inquest heard. 

Staunch charity supporter Pamela Ratsey’s health was said to have ‘deteriorated’ after going into Haven Care Home, Drayton, in 2017.

The 81-year-old’s niece Hillary Schwager told Portsmouth Coroner’s Court how her ‘generous’ and ‘loyal’ aunt was found ‘slumped with her head in her knees’ and in a pool of her own urine and faeces on occasions at the Havant Road residence.

Concerns over poor treatment were also said to include not moving bed-bound Ms Ratsey often enough - exacerbating her sores - and leaving her ‘very dirty’.

The family subsequently made a complaint over safeguarding issues.

READ MORE: Inquest told that pensioner had ‘mould growing in her ears’

Ms Schwager said: ‘We were very concerned about her care. She was deteriorating very quickly after being fully mobile before admission.

‘(After being admitted to Haven) Pam had trouble feeding herself, was very confused and increasingly unhappy. There were no alarm calls, she wasn’t given her glasses or hearing aids. 

‘We also noticed an unpleasant smell of urine and faeces.’

The niece added: ‘We raised concerns because she looked awful. Her hair was greasy and her nails very dirty, she was not given baths.’

Referring to the sores where ‘bone was showing’, the relative said: ‘The area around the wound was very red and infected.’

Ms Schwager told the hearing the family was ‘never informed’ about the ‘horrific’ sores, located on her sacrum at the base of her spine and heel before claiming Haven’s general manager David Hall had said: ‘There’s no point trying to prevent pressure sores.’

Mr Hall denied making the statement but Ms Schwager said: ‘He had ample opportunity to correct himself if he did not mean this (but didn’t).’

Former Haven care worker Elizabeth Tuck defended treatment given to Ms Ratsey, who lived in Portsmouth her whole life. She told the inquest staff were trained in dealing with sores although that responsibility was carried out by district nurses who would visit the care home. 

‘I never saw the wounds as the nurses would come in and dress them,’ Ms Tuck said. ‘We would highlight any issues.’

Asked if Haven was responsive to Ms Ratsey’s health, Ms Tuck said ‘yes I think so’ before vehemently denying the deceased would be left after wetting herself, saying ‘no, no, no,’ to the accusation.

Ms Ratsey died on March 4 last year after the family had moved her to Mary Rose Manor in Copnor Road after concerns over her care at Haven.

Pathologist Brett Lockyer said Ms Ratsey’s sacrum sore was ‘extremely deep’ with it exposing bone resulting in infection. ‘You shouldn’t find soft bone and be able to remove it,’ he said.

He concluded death was a result of pneumonia and infection of the bone due to the sacrum ulcer.

The hearing heard how police rejected launching criminal proceedings.

(Proceeding)