BY JAMES TWOMEY
An MP has told the House of Commons how her elderly father was left bloodied, bruised and unconscious at a care home – and alleged the top town hall officer later told her “he had asked for it” as his condition worsened.
Tooting MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan said her 75-year-old father, a former lecturer who has dementia and cannot speak, suffered from unexplained injuries in separate incidents last year.
She provoked gasps in a parliamentary adjournment debate on Wednesday about the safeguarding of vulnerable people in care homes.
The shadow minister for sport, and A&E doctor at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, said in the Commons he began sleeping on the floor in a communal area, too terrified to stay in his room, at the 45-flat Ensham House in Franciscan Road, Tooting.
Allin-Khan said neither Wandsworth council or London Care, the contractor looking after its residents, had provided answers. She said her family felt they were “on trial” for raising concerns.
She claimed in the Commons Wandsworth’s director of adult social services, Liz Bruce, last week refused to look at photos of her father’s injuries and declared the dementia sufferer had them because he “had asked for it”.
Dr Allin-Khan told the Commons it took three days before a carer – in a hushed call, the day before leaving, the MP later revealed – rang saying Mr Allin-Khan had been injured in the first incident.
“He was found extremely distressed, covered in bloody injuries,” said Ms Allin-Khan.
“We were told he had not left the building overnight, there was no evidence of him having fallen and no other resident had any injury. Unexpectedly, the centre manager left. Not a single person had any excuse why we were not called.
“We found my father bruised again twice more, with no answers. They started to claim, that despite a year there with no issues, my father was being ‘difficult’.
“This was not corroborated by his community psychiatric team, nor the day centre staff where he spent up to 25 hours per week.”
He was served an eviction notice – while on a routine hospital stay – with allegations against him with “no evidence”, the MP said, adding: “How heartless, an eviction notice while in hospital.” He left last April.
Allin-Khan, who said the home had five managers in five months, added: “The point of no return was when we found my father unconscious on the floor with blood on the walls and the floor and the carer’s set of keys left next to him. He spent one month in hospital.”
She added yesterday on Vanessa Feltz on BBC London: “The most alarming thing since Wednesday, has been the number of people have written and spoken to me saying they have a similar experiences.
“The director of adult social services gets paid more than the prime minister yet the council has not been transparent.”
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “On 6 April 2018, police received allegations that a man, then aged 75 years, had been assaulted at a care home in Franciscan Road, SW17.
“The allegations were thoroughly investigated. Officers spoke with a number of people and consulted with relevant partners and safeguarding agencies. “Officers were unable to take this case forward from a criminal perspective.
“Should any new evidence come to light, this will be fully investigated.”
Ensham House’s most recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission rated the facility as “good”.
London Care Ltd made a pre-tax profit of £723,000 in 2018, up from £626,000 in 2017, according to Companies House.
Senior spokesman Max Wurr nsaid: “We sympathise with Dr Allin-Khan’s family and with anyone trying to find suitable support for a vulnerable elderly relative. Dr Allin-Khan’s father had complex care needs. We were already aware of concerns about his tenancy.
We have no reason to believe London Care failed in its duty in this case. Our view is supported by the council’s investigation.”
A Wandsworth council spokesman said: “Wandsworth council gives the highest priority to safeguarding vulnerable adults.
We work closely with our partners to ensure we provide protection. We work closely with families of vulnerable people, and are always open to their feedback and challenge.
“ We have not been able to validate her specific complaint about her father’s care. “Liz Bruce is one of the most experienced directors of adult social services in the country, was director of adult social services at Manchester City Council and of three London boroughs.
She cares very much for vulnerable adults and leads a department which demands high standards of safeguarding.
“She has personally been involved in this case in which she has deep empathy. The council has strong confidence in the professionalism of her and her staff.”