Care home resident 'had maggots in open sores': Coroner condemns elderly woman's 'deplorable and appalling' condition
Saturday 09 April 1994
Sir Montague Levene, the Southwark coroner, presiding over yesterday's inquest into her death, described her condition on arrival at hospital as 'deplorable and appalling'. Mrs Huxstep, 73, had been admitted to hospital from Greystone's nursing home in east Dulwich, south London, in July last year. She had been at the home for four months since suffering a stroke. She had a history of leg ulcers, the court was told, but the condition was minor on arrival at the home, according to doctors.
The brochure for the home discloses that it charges between pounds 300 and pounds 335 per week for residents. Mrs Huxstep's fees were paid by Southwark local authority, though many of the other 60 residents were private. The brochure advertises 'a magnificent building of immense character . . . which has been tastefully converted to provide luxurious accommodation for the elderly'. It adds that the home 'seeks to provide the best nursing care for patients, thus ensuring peace of mind for families and friends'.
Mrs Huxstep's husband, Stanley, 72, claims he alerted staff at the home to the deterioration in her condition and was concerned about the standard of care. 'Her bandages were taken off and I saw maggots on her feet,' he told the court. 'I told him about the maggots and he said, 'That usually happens'.' But Greystone's GP was not alerted to the decline in her condition. He told the court he did not see her sores for three weeks before she was finally admitted to hospital.
The court heard that, after gangrene set into her feet, the pensioner was admitted to King's College Hospital on 24 July, then transferred to Dulwich hospital three days later. Dr Wendy Hildick- Smith said that the patient was in a very poor condition on arrival.
She was bleeding from the rectum, vomiting and had severely infected foot ulcers. 'The ulcers were extensive and covered her left and right feet. They were very infected. The surgeons' opinion was that they were so severe that the only option was to amputate both legs below the knee.'
Dr Hildick-Smith said it was decided to give Mrs Huxstep morphine to deaden the terrible pain she was in so that she might at least be able to rest comfortably. She said: 'It would have taken many weeks for the patient's feet to have deteriorated to such a condition.'
She added that Mrs Huxstep was also in a 'poor nutritional state. She was very thin and looked like she had not eaten for some time.'
The home's nurse manager, Edward Black, told the court that Mr Huxstep had 'interfered' with the care of his wife and 'inhibited proper care'. In particular, he said that Mr Huxstep, described as a devoted and adoring husband, often took his wife to the park and allowed her bandaged feet to drag along the ground thereby risking contamination.
Mr Black said his nurses regularly changed Mrs Huxstep's bandages and acted professionally throughout. None of the staff at the home was prepared to make any further comment yesterday.
The Coroner concluded: 'It would have been more prudent to get her into hospital much earlier.'
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
Isis in Syria: 60,000 Kurds flee terror in new exodus
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
4Chan naked photos leak: Celebrity Twitter reactions to the mass breach of privacy
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Supply Teacher re...
£140 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...
£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...
£140 - £160 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1&2 Supply Te...