Care home ‘let down’ dead mother, son says at inquest

Kingsland House in Shoreham. Picture: Google Streetview
Kingsland House in Shoreham. Picture: Google Streetview

A son said his mother was ‘let down’ by her nursing home at an inquest into her death.

Kathleen Doherty died aged 98 at Kingsland House in Shoreham soon after a safeguarding order was issued on October 6.

Her son James Corbett, 69, told the coroner how his mother moved from London to Brighton and was a curator of Hove Museum, where she was held at ransom with a shotgun in the eighties.

Mr Corbett said his mother suffered with dementia, and following the death of her husband Michael she would continue to take cups of tea and sandwiches to his room.

Mrs Doherty moved to Kingsland House in 2013 after falling down stairs, breaking several ribs and fracturing her wrist and pelvis.

Mr Corbett said: “We deemed it worthy of our mother’s presence but they let us down”. He added that she lost three pairs of dentures and two pairs of glasses while she was at Kingsland House.

He also claimed she did not receive enough fluids and was not fed properly by staff.

He said the ‘staff changed more than I change my bedsheets’ and described the way one staff member communicated with him after his mother’s death as ‘cruel’.

Dr Gillian McIlroy from Harbour View Healthcare said the cause of death was a urinary tract infection, dementia and old age.

Nurse Cristian Constantinescu started working at the home in May 2015. He was questioned by coroner David Skipp about the home’s practices and said he had spoken many times to Mr Corbett about their concerns.

The home had an ‘inadequate’ rating from the CQC in October 2015, which was upgraded to ‘good’ following an inspection in September 2016.

Mr Skipp adjourned the inquest to speak to the care home manager and see Mrs Doherty’s files.

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