Inquiry at Brighton care home after resident's head injury

By Jessica Elgot, September 15, 2011

v The daughter of an 88-year-old resident at Brighton's Jewish Care home who was hospitalised after a head injury says it may have been caused by an attack by a fellow resident.

She said her father, who has mild dementia, was found with bruising to his head early last Thursday morning at Hyman Fine House. She had been informed another resident may have assaulted him, an allegation Jewish Care says is unproven.

Brighton and Hove City Council is investigating the incident.

Jewish Care community services director Neil Taylor said: "In the case of this gentleman, staff were alerted to his injury first thing in the morning, and having spoken to the family, monitored his condition closely. He was seen by the GP in the home, who decided it was best to send him to hospital.

"Currently it remains unclear as to how he sustained his injury. He has no recollection of it and it was not witnessed.

"At the same time, the behaviour of another resident with dementia significantly worsened unexpectedly and a decision was taken with the support of GPs and the psychiatric team that it was no longer appropriate to care for him at Hyman Fine House. With the involvement of the GPs, local authority and hospital, this resident was found a more appropriate placement the same day."

The injured man's daughter expressed concern over staffing levels at the home. "When I visit, one member of staff is supervising five people, and if one needs to be escorted to the toilet, then the others are left alone," she claimed.

"They may have the right number of staff to comply with regulations, but the home is built round a courtyard and it's not easy to monitor.

"I feel so sorry for the staff. They all do their best. I've been there when someone has collapsed on the floor, but there's been no one to help one member of staff to pick them up, because it needs two people."

Although her father was back at Hyman Fine, she was seeking a place for him at Nightingale House in south London.

However, she was loath to cause him too much more disruption.

Mr Taylor said he would be speaking to the daughter about her concerns.

"Clearly, a number of issues have now been raised, which we take very seriously, and we will investigate these fully and work with the home until we have resolved them to everyone's satisfaction."

Last updated: 3:16pm, September 15 2011