A distraught family say they were left with no option but to remove their elderly mum from an East Kilbride home after a series of “care blunders”.

Despite being previously happy with how she was looked after, the family say they were left “appalled” at the lack of care she received at Meldrum Gardens last year.

Having earlier praised the home’s staff for the care of their 83-year-old mum, they noted a marked decline in her condition as the coronavirus pandemic took hold – particularly from August.

That included a fungal infection on her breast for which she had to be prescribed antibiotics, being dirty and unkempt, wearing other residents’ underpants, and losing her false teeth for at least FOUR MONTHS.

The family were even told that she was even given the wrong medication by the home.


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But, speaking to the East Kilbride News this week, they say their mother, who has dementia, is thriving in her new home.

Wishing to remain anonymous to protect their mother’s identity, one of her daughters said: “She was filthy at the end – it was an absolute disgrace.

“She was unkempt and, from what we saw, wasn’t being washed or cleaned properly. She just wasn’t our mum anymore. The difference with her since she moved is night and day.”

The 83-year-old had been in the South Lanarkshire Council-run care home for five years, but the family moved her in December after their complaints “were ignored or brushed under the carpet”.

The family discovered a scrunched up mask in a pocket in among their mum's washing

That followed an emergency meeting with various council departments and home management in September to raise a number of concerns.

Those included a fungal and bacterial infection that had been described to them as a “small red mark” on their mum’s breast.

“It was mentioned during a phone call I made that mum had a small ‘red mark’ on her breast and they were going to get the doctor to take a look,” the daughter told us.

“But my sister and I just thought that wasn’t right. She wanted to get all PPE'd up and go in to check, but we weren’t allowed. Eventually I was sent pictures and I nearly fell off my seat.

“It was a nasty, angry red rash that had spread to her mid-drift and then turned into a secondary bacterial infection which needed antibiotics to clear it. We were never initially informed that anything was wrong.

“If she was getting washed properly, how was this not picked up earlier? We maintain she wasn’t.”

The family also claim her clothes had to be binned because they were ruined or not laundered properly.

The News has also seen pictures of a scrunched up used face mask found in the pocket of their mum’s trousers, that was handed back to them with other washing in a yellow bag marked for incineration.

A bag marked for incineration was handed to the family

In that they also discovered a “grey, dirty bed sheet” belonging to the home and her clothes that were wrongly labelled for residents in other rooms.

Despite their meeting with home management and council officials, the family say nothing changed.

Now they have slammed investigations by the council and are calling for a full independent investigation.

The woman’s other daughter said: “Clothes were regularly mixed-up, wrongly tagged and mum was even sitting in other people’s underwear. When I got sent the yellow bag for incineration I couldn’t believe it.

“Mum’s clothes were in it but with other people’s room numbers on them, a scrunched up face mask with hair that wasn’t my mum’s in the elastic fell out a pocket – the residents don’t wear masks, so whose was it?

“Then I saw this dirty grey bed sheet. It wasn’t the type mum used so whose was it? I felt physically sick.

“Was it in a room where someone had tested positive for COVID? It could have been contaminated with God knows what.

“Eventually, social work picked up the waste bag from my property on January 7 and actually wore masks and gloves to remove it.

“And not having the dental plate would have not only affected her ability to chew, but also her self esteem and dignity.”

A bed sheet belonging to the home was rolled up at the bottom of a bag filled with their mum's washing

The family of the 83-year-old Meldrum Gardens resident questioned why their mum was moved between units in the midst of a pandemic – and why painters and decorators were allowed into the home.

In July the family were allowed in to look at another room after being told by the manager that they planned to move their mum.

The daughter, however, said the room picked out was not appropriate.

A few weeks later they were told that their mum was getting a “like-for-like room” in a different unit at the other end of the building.

She was moved out of her room of five years in September - only to have to be moved again several times due to COVID - an extremely unsettling and upsetting experience for someone with dementia say the family.

She also slammed the mistake in medication, calling it a “basic thing to get right”.

One of the daughters said: “The doctor changed one type of medication for another, but she was given both for several days – so basically doubling up on the dose.

“We were told it had been marked up wrong, so the staff member handing out medication was unaware of changes.

“Thankfully it didn’t harm mum, but to give someone the wrong medication could be extremely serious.”

Now the family want action.

The daughter added: “It was a fantastic home, but it has gone totally downhill with staff that had been there for years leaving and new people coming in.

“The Care Inspectorate said they couldn’t go in due to the pandemic. There needs to be an outside body that goes in to thoroughly investigate.

“It can’t be the council investigating themselves on this.”

Val de Souza, SLC’s director for health and social care, said the council had investigated “all areas” of the families concerns thoroughly, finding that their mother received “good standard of care”.

She added: “However, I can advise that as a resource we do continue to look at how we can improve and monitor areas of service delivery as we endeavour to continually strive for the absolute best care, support and protection for all our service users.“

A spokesman for the Care Inspectorate confirmed concerns had been raised and looked into.

He added: “We have assessed the information given to us carefully and have discussed this with the care service.

“We are satisfied that the care service has dealt with the issues raised appropriately.”