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There are "lessons to be learned" after care home death, admits council
THE elected boss of adult care in Worcestershire says there are "lessons to be learned" after the county council was criticised following the death of a vulnerable man.
Councillor Sheila Blagg admitted a shock independent report revealing a catalogue of council failures after the death of a 70-year-old should serve as a wake-up call.
Your Worcester News can also reveal she has asked a council watchdog to probe the current care home inspections process to see if it can be improved.
As your Worcester News revealed this morning the county pensioner, who cannot be named, died two months after moving from one private care home to another despite the council's own assessment warning it would be "detrimental" to his needs.
He was suffering diabetes, dementia, epilepsy, heart and stroke problems and died last January after going to hospital with pneumonia and dehydration.
The council moved him to a cheaper home rather than pay £800 a week to keep him at the old one, despite recommendations not to.
The Local Government Ombudsman has since accused the council of trying to "contract out the responsibility" for his death.
Cllr Blagg, cabinet member for adult social care, said: "We recognise that responsibility very much.
"I know there is a team put in place now, which was not there at the time (of the death), that does go out and do inspections on the spot so we don't rely on the CQC (Care Quality Commission) to do it.
"That being said, I would like overview and scrutiny to look at it to ensure the system we've got is fit for purpose.
"It's vital it does what it is meant to do. But I know there are lessons to be learned from this, definitely."
Her comments were made during a meeting of the adult care and well being panel at County Hall today, where Liberal Democrat Councillor Tom Wells called the saga "horrific."
The ombudsman's report said the new nursing home was "not suitable" and his condition got worse within 10 days of his arrival.
Despite complaints from the family about the standard of care and his condition, the council never completed a safeguarding investigation and he died in January 2012.
The council has since paid his family £1,500 and reviewed its procedures in a bid to avoid a repeat.
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