Neglect Ruled Out In Manchester Care Home

THREE residents of a Greater Manchester care home at the centre of a police investigation died within weeks of each other, a coroner heard. But the inquest ruled there was no evidence that neglect led to any of the deaths.

An earlier police investigation into the privately run Exeter House in Sale Moor, Trafford, resulted in no criminal proceedings.

Now Trafford coroner John Pollard has ruled out neglect at inquests into former residents, who all died in hospital.

Mr Pollard said it was clear `on the balance of probabilities’ that one of the pensioners, 82-year-old Roy Harrison, fractured three ribs when he fell over three times at the Skaith Road home on March 5, 2006.

But he ruled out neglect and said the cause of his death at Wythenshawe Hospital on March 10 from pneumonia due to the fractures was accidental.

Stephen Mills, a manager at the home which is run by his parents Iain and Elizabeth Mills, said: “In hindsight a call to the ambulance would probably have been best, but we took it that Roy was his normal self.”

The coroner also recorded an open verdict into the death of Alice Rimmer, 89, who died at Trafford General Hospital from pneumonia due to immobility and a fractured left hip on March 6, 2006.

Mr Pollard told the inquest: “There’s no doubt as to the cause of death, but there’s doubt in my mind when that fractured occurred and how it occurred.

“There’s insufficient evidence to lead to any other verdict and I am never going to get that evidence.”

He recorded a verdict of natural causes into the death of Joan Smith, 82, who died at Trafford General on March 25.

She had been admitted to the hospital on January 30 after a fall and had pneumonia and a fractured leg when she died from heart disease.

The inquests were told that the families of Mrs Rimmer, from Urmston, and Mrs Smith had both raised concerns about standards of care at the home.

Inspectors decided to cancel the care home’s registration in July 2006 – the home is now waiting for an appeal hearing.