Family’s distress as woman died after spending 16 days at Scottish care home

Gerald McNally and his sister Margaret Milne hold a photo of their late mum, Margaret McNally.
Gerald McNally and his sister Margaret Milne hold a photo of their late mum, Margaret McNally.

The family of a woman who died after spending just 16 days in a Cumbernauld care home have hit out at a “shocking lack of care” at the facility after industry bosses upheld a series of “distressing” complaints.

Margaret McNally passed away a month after concerned family members removed her from The Village Care Home in the town over health fears surrounding “alarming” weight loss, poor oral care and an injury to her shoulder.

Mrs McNally, who was 83, had only been a resident of the home, run by healthcare giant HC-One, for little more than a fortnight before she was transferred to care at home. She died just over four weeks later.

Son Gerald, 56, described the “shocking deterioration” in her condition after she returned from the home on April 28 unable to walk or speak properly.

He said she had lost “over a stone” after struggling to eat when staff removed her dentures, claiming it was so they could take dental impressions, but were unable to properly re-attach them.

Care bosses investigated a string of complaints issued against the facility by the family and say they are now “monitoring the home closely”.

Gerald said: “She was only there for 16 days. We have a video of her before she went in where she is dancing with her nephew.

“When we pulled her out of there, she could barely walk, barely talk. It was horrible to see that happen.

“The amount of food she was getting in a day was not enough for anyone. Staff put food down in front of her, but if she wasn’t eating it, they took it away. No-one sat with her and made sure she was eating.”
The family also criticised the home for failing to seek medical advice over what turned out to be a supraspinatus tendon rupture suffered by Mrs McNally, while staff also did not adhere to instructions over issuing specially adapted crockery.

They said an oral thrush infection she sustained was not properly treated, affecting her speech.

Gerald said: “We were told after the investigation that it had been a learning curve for the home. My mum had to die for them to have a learning curve.”

A spokesman 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 matter and will be upholding all six elements of the complaint brought to us. We have also made two formal requirements on the care service to improve the care experienced by residents and have identified further areas where they need to improve.”

A spokeswoman 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.”