A STOURBRIDGE man and his wife have been left haunted by the suffering he says his elderly mother endured in the final chapter of her life after a fall at home took her into hospital then into care.

Anthony Gardiner’s mother Ida had been living independently at her home in Kingswinford, with help from Anthony, his wife Rachel and carers, until a fall resulted in a broken arm and a trip to Russells Hall Hospital.

Despite having a care package in place at home, Ida was discharged, without the family having a say, to Belvidere Residential Care Home in Dudley.

Once Anthony and Rachel discovered where she’d been sent, they visited the home but say they were not allowed in to see she’d settled in ok; and just two days later – Ida was back in A&E.

Stourbridge News: A&E at Russells Hall Hospital in DudleyA&E at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley (Image: Stock)

Mr Gardiner claims his mother had suffered multiple falls and when he met her in A&E, after being alerted by paramedics, he discovered her hand was black, she had a black eye and a cut over her eye, and he said he was told she needed fluids.

However, he says he was informed shortly after arriving that she was being discharged – again with no choice as to where despite the family having lasting power of attorney for health and welfare in place for Ida.

READ MORE: Elderly patients discharged from hospital with no choice

This time she was sent to Island Court Care Home, Coseley, which at the time had and currently has an overall rating of requires improvement.

Mr Gardiner said visiting was difficult as many Covid measures were still in place in July 2021 and it was four days before he could see his mother, who had diabetes and vascular dementia/Alzheimer’s.

Stourbridge News: Ida GardnerIda Gardner (Image: Handout)

He said: “It must’ve been awful. She'd been in A&E with her son, been taken away from him by a stranger who transported her to the care home. She'd got nobody she knew around her, nobody familiar to talk to.”

He told how he wasn’t allowed in her room, he found his mother wearing other people’s clothes and every time he asked to see her care plan “there was an excuse”.

His wife Rachel said Ida was left sitting in a bucket chair, unable to get out without assistance, so her mobility waned, and she went on to contract Covid and suffered scalding from a hot drink.

Mr Gardiner said he was contacted by the CQC to give his views on Island Court during his mother’s stay which he described as “nine months of hell”.

Stourbridge News: Ida GardinerIda Gardiner (Image: Handout)

But not too long after the scalding incident she ended up back in hospital.

Mr Gardiner claims he was told in A&E that she was “severely dehydrated” and she sadly passed away not long after – around three weeks after being discharged to another home in Kidderminster.

Businessman Mr Gardiner, who runs SAS Blinds in Wollaston, said what his beloved mother experienced has left him haunted and suffering sleepless nights and he added: “She went in a strong woman and came out a broken one.”

He stressed care provided at the final home, The Shrubbery, was excellent and staff were “golden” but by this time 90-year-old Ida only had weeks left to live and she died on June 11, 2022.

Stourbridge News: The ShrubberyThe Shrubbery (Image: Google Street View)

He said: “She gave up the will. The damage was done.

“To go through what my mom went through – it broke me as much as it broke her.

“I believe it goes against the Human Rights Act passed in 1998.”

Mr Gardiner said he feels “all homes should have that same impeccable standard” and he added that “if a child was treated in the same way at a nursery there would be a national outcry”.

“I’m so angry,” he said.

Dudley Council told the News that after a period of suspension, which meant Island Court could not accept new residents, restrictions were lifted earlier this year.

Stourbridge News: Island Court Care Home in CoseleyIsland Court Care Home in Coseley (Image: Google Street View)

A spokesperson for Select Healthcare Group said: “Island Court Care Home has moved on from previous CQC inspections and has met all requirements.

“Island Court works with both the local authority and Integrated Commissioning Boards to ensure compliance with regulations.

“The home has involvement with all multidisciplinary teams within the borough to ensure that safe, effective, responsive care is being delivered to all persons who reside within the home.

“Island Court has a positive impact on the lives of people who reside there and this has been evidenced in positive feedback from stakeholders.”

Stourbridge News: Belvidere Residential Care Home in DudleyBelvidere Residential Care Home in Dudley (Image: Google Street View)

A spokesperson for Belvidere Residential Care Home told the News: “All new admissions into the home undergo a thorough assessment including a detailed handover from the hospital ward which includes assessments from the occupational therapist and physio.

“Mrs Gardiner was not an exception to this, and a thorough assessment was undertaken prior to her being accepted into Belvidere.

“It is our normal practice to contact next of kin when there is any deterioration of our residents especially if a resident requires transfer to hospital. We are extremely sorry if this did not happen.

“Belvidere was following government guidelines for care homes after the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021 regarding visitors in care homes, which was restricted nationally at that time. We are sorry if this caused distress.”

The home said it has been working with the local authority and commissioners to improve its CQC rating – which is currently ‘requires improvement’ – and the spokesperson added: “We have employed a new manager, with a new regional manager, and put in systems to improve our governance framework.

“We have increased staff training and continue to make investments in the home to raise the physical environment. Our staff retention has improved and drastically reduced our usage of agency staff improving our care delivery.”