‘A dementia patient died after she was lowered into a scalding bath at a care home, a court has heard. Former nurse Beatrice Morgan, 88, suffered burns to 18% of her body at Greencroft Residential Home at Aston, Deeside.
‘Flintshire Magistrates’ Court heard her injuries were a contributing factor in her death at the burns unit at Whiston Hospital in Liverpool in August 2012. The court heard the home had no effective control over the temperature of the hot water at the premises, no risk assessment had been carried out and there had been little staff training.’

The judge, Gwyn Jones said ‘the company, to put it mildly, did not want to spend. Company directors and senior managers knew and ignored the risks.’
Read the story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-29373858

Beatrice Morgan had been a career nurse, and manager of an important Welsh hospital. She had dedicated her life to the wellbeing of thousands of others. Her photograph on the BBC website shows the face of a gentle lady. I wonder why the directors of Greencroft Residential Care aren’t on trial for manslaughter. It’s the most shocking piece of news I’ve read about care homes for a long time.

We can grieve for Beatrice Morgan, but we should also grieve that the management cared so little for its vulnerable, elderly residents that it put money before their safety. Whenever there’s a story like this it is usually down to indifferent, inept or distanced management.

Managing a care home is a job like no other. You need the strength of Samson, the wisdom of Solomon, the loving heart of Ruth, the stamina of Joshua and the negotiating power of Jacob.

You also need the support of managers and directors who care about you, and are praying for you. When all that’s in place, you have care homes where everyone matters; where staff are fully trained and supported and where husbands and wives and sons and daughters and brothers and sisters whose loved ones have dementia can go home and sleep at night, knowing they are safe.

Our homes are like this. You can see for yourself on these little film clips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzpyG2K1-fc , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1_K2D6oC08 .

But it costs – not just money, but personal sacrifices, day after day. It means not just going the extra mile, but dozens of extra miles.

We’d be glad of your prayers, and if you’d like to help us go on caring for vulnerable older people, pop over to our website www.pilgrimsfriend.org.uk, and send us a small gift. Or large! Not only does it help us, but it encourages us to know that others feel like we do!

Louise Morse

Louise Morse MA (CBT) is media and external relations manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society. She is a writer and speaker, and author of books on issues of old age, including dementia, published by Lion Monarch and SPCK. She is a cognitive behavioural therapist, and her Masters’ dissertation examined the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia on close relatives.

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