Family’s anguish over death of OAP in seven-hour care home ordeal

THE family of a dementia patient who died at a nursing home yesterday demanded to know why he lay in agony for seven hours waiting for an ambulance.

Charles Donaldson, 69, suffered a broken hip and arm and died in hospital four weeks later.

A Care Inspectorate probe upheld three complaints from his family – two partially – against the Bupa-owned home.

But Charles’ sister Irene Nolan says they are still looking for answers.

Staff at Eastbank Care Home, in Shettleston, Glasgow, initially claimed the double fractures could have happened as Charles lay in bed but doctors said that was impossible. They then claimed that he climbed back into bed after falling in January but the family rejected that theory.

Irene said: “I think he fell and was put back to bed. Why can’t anyone tell me what happened? “I tell myself Charles is in a better place but I can’t let this pass.”

Care Inspectorate investigators partially agreed the home did not provide an adequate explanation about how the injuries happened.

The regulator also agreed in part that staff failed to seek proper medical help.

And they said staff did not do enough to ease Charles’s pain while waiting for an ambulance.

Workers claimed they found him in pain in bed at 7pm. At 8.30pm late-shift staff found “obvious signs of a hip fracture”. It took four calls to NHS 24 – at 8.37pm, 11.14pm, 1.23am and 1.59am – before an ambulance arrived after 2am.

Charles died a month later at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Irene said: “He was in terrible pain.

His right knee was twisted.

“He had an aortic aneurysm and dementia which NHS 24 should have been told about.

“The ambulance crew said it should have been a 999 call.”

The Scottish Ambulance Service said: “The request was received as a non-emergency response for a possible leg fracture.

“We regret the time it took for an ambulance to be allocated.”

Kenny Valentine, Bupa’s care home boss in Scotland, said: “‘We do not accept that the resident was helped back into bed and his condition ignored.

“We could have handled this incident better and communicated more effectively with the family.”

Strathclyde Police said: “After inquiries, officers concluded there were no suspicious circumstances.”