This is the tragic footage of a great-grandmother dancing on the day she moved into a care home – but who died shortly after because of “unacceptable” failings
Margaret McNally, who had dementia, died in June after her health rapidly deteriorated after spending just 16 days in The Village Care Home, Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire.
She moved in on April 12, but by the time Margaret, 83, was removed from the home on April 28, her son Gerald McNally said “the damage was done”.
The great-grandmother-of-19 had lost “more than a stone”, suffered from oral thrush and a shoulder injury, and never recovered, dying a few weeks later on June 2.
Gerald, 56, released the video of his mother dancing on the day she moved in.
But he has also released alongside another, filmed shortly before her death, which showed her lying in bed unable to speak.
The footage shows the drastic deterioration in her condition.
Watchdog the Care Inspectorate upheld six complaints about the care Margaret received, and branded them “unacceptable.”
Gerald and his siblings removed their mother from the care home after becoming alarmed that she had lost “more than a stone” in weight, and was unable to walk or talk.
He said: “When my mum was in the care home, she was supposed to be on soft food but they gave her a ‘normal’ diet – they were putting the food down but not monitoring that she wasn’t eating it.
“Her weight just went straight down.
“They told us that the day before we took mum out, she had had ‘extensive oral care’.
“But when we took her to hospital we learnt she had extensive oral thrush.”
The litany of complaints included that Margaret had not been given special crockery, a two-handled mug which she needed to drink with, and was fed a ‘normal’ diet despite only being able to eat soft food.
Adequate oral care was not provided, with thrush later diagnosed, the report said.
And the care home did not seek medical advice about Margaret’s shoulder injury when asked to by the family.
When Margaret’s top dentures were removed, staff were unable to put them back in, and told the family that a visiting dentist had taken an impression for new dentures to be mad.
But this was contradicted by Lanarkshire Public Dental Services which had no record of it happening.
After being taken to A&E at Monklands Hospital, Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, Margaret was put on a drip as she was dehydrated.
She returned home before being readmitted to hospital, and spent her final weeks being cared for in the house where she lived for 35 years, by her children and staff from Hospital in the Home.
Grandmother-of-13 Margaret lived in Cumbernauld, which was why the family chose the care home, after the five siblings had tried to look after her in her own house.
She was moved in on April 12, after which caravan park manager Gerald went on holiday, but when he returned he was shocked to see the condition she was in.
Gerald said: “I saw her before I went on holiday and she seemed fine.
“In the time she was in there, she must have gone gradually downhill but no-one noticed it.
“I was so shocked.
“I asked about the injury to her arm, but if we hadn’t said anything, they would not have thought to get a doctor.
“If we had left her in there, she would have died faster.
“The damage was done. She couldn’t eat after they took her dentures out.
“Her body couldn’t cope with it.”
Health giant HC-One, which brands itself ‘the Kind Care Company’, said it was “pleased” to be implementing an action plan based on recommendations.
But referred to Margaret as ‘Marion’ in a letter of apology to the family.
Gerald said: “They have said they will learn from it, but where was my mother’s duty of care?
“They didn’t bother with her.
“The nearest they came to saying sorry, they called her ‘Marion’.
“It has taken months for them to acknowledge anything about my mother’s care at all, and they got her name wrong.”
Despite the action plan being drawn up, Gerald says more needs to be done to ensure it is implemented to protect other vulnerable people.
He added: “I’m trying to do as much as I can so it doesn’t happen to somebody else, and to get justice for my mum.
“They can’t get away with treating people like that and get away with it.
“No family should have to go through it.”
A spokesman for the Care Inspectorate said:
A spokesperson for the Care Inspectorate said: “The care experienced by Margaret was unacceptable and our thoughts are with her family and loved ones.
“We have carried out a full investigation of this distressing matter, including visiting the home twice unannounced to interview staff and gather evidence.
“We will be upholding all six elements of the complaint brought to us. The outcome of our investigation will be published on our website soon.
“We have also made two formal requirements on the care service to improve the care experienced by residents and have also identified further areas where they need to improve.
“We are monitoring this home closely and will publish a full inspection report in due course.
“Everyone in Scotland has the right to safe, compassionate care which meets their needs and respects their rights.”
A spokesman for the home said: “The health and wellbeing of our Residents is of top priority, and we take all feedback from the Care Inspectorate extremely seriously.
“We have responded fully to the feedback from the regulator regarding the care of the Resident in question.
“While we do not comment publicly on the intricacies of individual cases, we’re pleased to say that a detailed action plan has been put in place to address all of the Inspectorate’s observations.
“We are working closely alongside them and the local authority to ensure our residents receive the high standards of care they deserve.”