Yorkshire widow may sue county over husband’s care

A GRANDMOTHER whose husband died last year is considering taking legal action against a council over its handling of his care.

Parkinson’s disease sufferer David Shaw, 65, died of pneumonia in September. North Yorkshire County Council and NHS North Yorkshire and York were responsible for his welfare.

His wife of 48 years, Gillian, and daughter Susan Hedges have praised Morris Grange care home, in Richmond, where he lived. But they claim the county council social services team repeatedly failed to deliver equipment to Mrs Shaw to allow home visits. This caused him to become depressed and his condition to deteriorate.

They also say the council did not communicate with the NHS over funding.

Mrs Shaw, of Skeeby, said: “He went into the care home with the promise he was coming home to me. The care home was very good but social services was abysmal.

“They have got to understand the hurt they have caused us. He gave up and he died and that’s what I cannot forgive them for.

“They are going to have to feel it in their back pocket because that’s the only thing that’s going to help.”

Richmond county councillor, Stuart Parsons, said questions needed answering for the sake of the family and others in their position.

He said: “It’s their duty to do something. It’s not the patient’s problem. If the patient is in a particular situation, they have the duty to provide the care.”

A North Yorkshire County Council spokesman said: “If people are unhappy with the services provided by North Yorkshire County Council there are processes in place to deal with these concerns.

The county council cannot comment on individual cases.”

The primary care trust has admitted it made mistakes. At first, it only granted partial funding and the family had to appeal twice for full funding.

Then it failed to backdate the funding to cover the whole period of care. This was later amended, but the family did not receive confirmation until more than two weeks after Mr Shaw’s death.

Melanie Bradbury, of NHS North Yorkshire and York, said: “We have apologised to Mrs Hedges for any mistakes we made.”