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90-Year-Old Woman Died After Being Attacked Twice In Care Home By Fellow Resident

Expert Personal Injury Lawyers Investigate Whether More Could Have Been Done To Protect Woman


The daughter of a woman who died after TWICE being physically assaulted by a dementia sufferer in the care home where she lived has instructed specialist personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate whether more could have been done to prevent her mother’s death.

Jill Gregory says her mother Enid was never the same person following the two assaults committed eight days apart by another female resident at the Grove House residential care home in Ashover in December 2012. Her health deteriorated and she lost her independence, mobility and dignity.

Expert lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are now investigating whether the owners of the home, Peak Care, could have done more to intervene following the first assault on 10 December 2012 that would have prevented Mrs Gregory suffering extensive bruising and muscle damage to her back after she was pushed over onto her bed frame on 18 December.

Jill, 59, from Chesterfield, believes the emotional and physical trauma her mother suffered led to her physical and mental health deteriorating significantly over the following months until she suffered a severe heart attack caused by septicaemia and pneumonia that led to her death on 17 April 2013, aged 91, at the Royal Chesterfield Hospital.

Sophie Davies, an expert personal injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office, said: “Jill has been left devastated by her mother’s death and understandably found it very difficult to watch Mrs Gregory deteriorate so quickly over a short period of time.

“Mrs Gregory was a resident in the home as she suffered from blood pressure problems and arthritis which made mobility difficult, although she was determined to walk each day with the help of her walking stick or Zimmer frame. She liked having some independence and generally enjoyed being at the home before the assaults.

“The attacks which she suffered eight days apart were frightening and we are investigating whether more could have been done by Peak Care to prevent them occurring, particularly in the case of the second assault , given that they were aware of the first assault and had reassured Mrs Gregory that action would be taken to protect her safety.

“Peak Care has denied any liability for the incident and we are now considering issuing court proceedings in the hope it will provide Jill with the answers and information she needs to help her come to terms with her mother’s death. We also hope that if any safety shortcomings are identified, measures are put in place to ensure the same thing cannot happen again.”

Jill added: “My mother was very settled at Grove House and was generally healthy, mentally alert and independent for a 90-year-old woman.

“I was aware of an incident where a resident with dementia had walked into my mother’s room uninvited and shouted abuse, but was led to believe that this was a verbal rather than physical assault. My mother said she had spoken to the manager who reassured her action would be taken but advised that in the meantime she should keep her bedroom door locked. During the weeks prior to the first assault, the woman had frequently banged on my mother’s door and shouted at her.

“I spoke with my mother shortly after the second assault and she was very upset, explaining that the other resident had waited outside her bedroom door until she had left to go for a cup of tea and pushed her back into her room and onto the floor, injuring her back on the base of her bed as she fell. 

“She was taken to hospital and the care home staff informed me two days later that my mother had been hit by the same resident previously. I asked if they had informed social services in writing as I knew that was a statutory requirement and was told a verbal notification had been made but nothing in writing.

My discussions with social services on 19th and 20th December indicated that they had no record of either assault having been reported to them by Grove House staff. 

“The woman who assaulted my mother was removed from the care home following the second assault. Over the following weeks my mother became more and more withdrawn. After the second assault she was no longer able to walk without the assistance of other people or to take part in any of the activities at Grove House.

“The majority of the time was spent in hospital and her condition deteriorated to the point that there was nothing medical staff could do for her. Doctors told me that the trauma of the attacks were likely to have impacted on her physical and mental health. In my view she should never have been the victim of assault in the room which had become her home and where she should have been safe from harm.

“I would like answers from the care home about why more wasn’t done to protect my mother, especially after the first attack. Nothing can bring her back but I cannot begin to accept what has happened until I know the full circumstances which resulted in what she suffered. I would also like to see reassurance from Peak Care that improvements have been made to prevent any of its other residents from being put through a similar ordeal.”

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