North Yorkshire Coroner Calls For Care Home Investigations After Deaths Of Two Residents

Further Staffing Levels Guidance For Care Homes Requested By Coroner


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397
The coroner for eastern North Yorkshire, Michael Oakley, has called on the Department of Health to investigate the deaths of two elderly men at the Leeming Garth Care Home, Leeming Bar.

His comments follow the inquests for Stanley Dobson, 95, and Leslie Taylor, 88, which took place at the County Hall in Northallerton. Mr Oakley said further guidance is needed from the government on staff-to-resident ratios.

The inquest recorded a verdict of misadventure in Mr Dobson’s death, but noted that the standard of care he received during his time at the home, which is owned by HC-One, contributed to his death on November 21st 2013.

His son Brian told the inquest that his father deteriorated quickly during his time at Leeming Garth Care Home, losing almost two stones in 16 days. He said his father was often undressed with no bedcovers on him when he visited, his mouth was very dry and there was nothing for him to drink.

Recording a verdict of misadventure on Mr Dobson, the coroner said: "He required a lot of nursing care and it seems clear from what he received that the level of nursing staff fell down on occasions.” He added that the standard of care was not grossly sub-standard, but that it contributed to the cause of death.

Irene Hart, manager of the care home, said she had enough staff to care for residents in the home, but told the inquest that during the period of October to December 2013 there had been times when the home was short-staffed due to sickness.

A former member of nursing staff at the home, Christine Ray, who left in December as she was concerned about the number of staff at the facility, told the inquest that she would often get upset as she knew the residents were not being given the care they needed due to staffing levels.

A verdict of natural causes was recorded for the death of Mr Taylor, the Northern Echo reports, but his family also expressed concerns during the inquest about staff numbers and the quality of care.

Mr Oakley said shortcomings in the care he was given at the home were not connected to his death, but he raised concerns over the management at the care home. He said he will write to the Department of Health to request improved guidance and recommendations on staff ratios.