A pensioner with dementia was left lying in a pool of his own blood by himself for more than 30 minutes by a callous carer who stayed in her office “doing paperwork.”
Frail Edward Highfield, 79, ended up with blood pouring down his face after he fell out of bed and cracked his head open at a care home.
The great-granddad was found by a member of staff at Hilltop Lodge Nursing Home in West Bromwich, West Mids., and an ambulance was called.
But rather than stay with the OAP and trying to make him more comfortable, the carer left him on his own in his bedroom.
Mr Highfield’s family said they arrived at the care home to find the dad-of-four lying alone, helpless and distressed in a pool of blood.
Daughter Lisa Geddes, 44, said: “We arrived and there were only two carers around. Dad was on the floor by himself.
“There was blood coming out of his head, but no-one had put a compress on, or even put a pillow under his head.
“Dad is on Warfarin, which thins the blood, so he was losing a lot of blood.
“I was devastated when I saw him. I rang the ambulance again to see where they were, and they were shocked when I told them that he had been left on his own.”
According to Lisa, a nurse who was working on another floor of the home was about to take her break when she heard the commotion and rushed to help her dad.
But the carer on duty, a Polish nurse, remained in the care home’s office “doing paperwork”.
Lisa added: “The attitude of the carer was disgusting.
“My dad can be a handful, but she looked at him like he was a piece of dirt.
“While he was bleeding on the floor she was in the office ‘getting his paperwork ready’.
“There’s only two members of staff on that floor. They said it is enough but it clearly isn’t.”
Paramedics later arrived at the scene and took Mr Highfield, a former foundry worker, to Sandwell Hospital.
Lisa said: “My dad has the late stages of vascular dementia. Luckily he was OK, but if he had fallen differently he could have died.
“He could have had a brain bleed or a stroke, or bled to death right there in the room.
“She was supposed to be a carer, but didn’t sit there with him to calm him down or to give him basic first aid.
“He’s frail but he’s robust because he always did manual jobs all his life. If it was a frail old lady then she might have died.”
Mr Highfield’s family went back to the home the next day to make a formal complaint about his treatment.
Lisa said: “He’s had a couple of falls before. He can stand up but he’s not steady on his feet
“The home had told us they were going to take some safety measures, including getting a sensor pad for his bed.
“They fitted one and it didn’t work, so it was thrown on top of a wardrobe.”
The family have now moved the pensioner to a different care home, which offers more specialised dementia care.
Hilltop Lodge Nursing Home confirmed the member of staff had been disciplined and is no longer employed at the home.
Janet Rayfield, operations manager, said staff were “extremely saddened” by the way Mr Highfield was treated during the incident on September 26.
She said: “The health and wellbeing of residents is always our priority at Hilltop Lodge and we liaise closely with both them and their families to do all that we can to provide good care.
“We were extremely saddened that in the moments following this accident a member of staff did not meet the very high standards of care we set ourselves.
“As a result, disciplinary steps were taken immediately against the individual involved, and she is no longer in our employment.
“As a team, we have revisited our policies and procedures and are committed to making sure that our quality of care is never compromised again.”
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