Grief-stricken family calls for a ‘carers’ register’ to protect the vulnerable

A family who lost their beloved mother and grandmother at a North Yorkshire home want to see a ‘carers’ register’ set up to protect others.

Elvira Rhodes had a fall at Sand Banks care home, Redcar and died just weeks after in April 2017. An inquest into her death found her care from staff was ‘neglectful’ when they were moving her in a hoist. The inquest also found the home was poorly staffed at the time.

PHOTO: Teeside Live

Her daughter is calling for an independent investigation to ensure someone is held accountable for what happened. She has also called for a ‘carers’ register’ to properly regulate the care profession – this register has been backed by the local MP, Anna Turley.

Her daughter, Glenda Thompson, said: “I find it incredible security staff working the doors are registered, but there is no register for carers.

The staff involved in my mother’s care no longer work there but could go and work elsewhere, and nobody would know what happened in their previous roles. I want justice for my mum, and I want other people to be protected.”

An inquest heard that on 15 April 2017 there was a two-hour delay in Mrs Rhodes being taken to her bedroom due to staff shortages. She was suffering from an infection and shoulder pain, before going to bed at 9:30pm.

A sling was put around her waist while she was still in the lounge area, but when lifted from her wheelchair her foot moved backwards on the footplate, which affected her balance.

After losing her balance, the sling slipped up to beneath her armpits and as she tried to adjust she slumped downwards, only being supported in the sling by her left arm.

A jury found Mrs Rhode was ‘transported in a rushed manner’ towards the bed – in the hoist – before she ‘fell to the floor with force’ which led to fractures on her left thigh and left arm.

The jury recorded her death was ‘as a result of injuries sustained in the fall.’

MP Anna Turley called the case deeply worrying and said: “It raises some big questions about how the staff who care for our vulnerable are monitored for their suitability and sufficient training.

The vast majority of care workers do so with compassion, often working for low pay and under poor employment conditions with a quarter of the workforce on zero-hour contracts. It is no surprise that staff turnover in the care sector is so high at 28%.

“But it is concerning that someone who has neglected residents is now doing the same job elsewhere.”

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) did lead an investigation into Mrs Rhodes’ death, which was published earlier this year. However, the CQC said it can only take action against the home itself – and cannot pursue individuals so they could not take the investigation any further.

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