A FAMILY has released a horrific picture of the facial injuries suffered by a 78-year-old woman after she fell at a car home.
The image of Jill Symmonds shows a mass of black bruises stretching from her jaw to her eyes and forehead after the incident in Aberdeenshire.
Mrs Symmonds fell while using a toilet at Sunnybank Care Home in Cruden Bay on Tuesday.
But the family only found out about the accident on Tuesday night – nine hours later – and only because they called to check on her.
Granddaughter Emma Stephen took to Facebook to post an image of Mrs Symmonds’ battered face, telling friends that “disgusted is not the word”.
Mrs Symmonds, who is said to have broken both her legs in a previous incidents, was taken to hospital to be checked over.
The company that operates Sunnybank – where fees start at £28,600 a year – has admitted it was “unacceptable” that the family was not informed immediately.
Emma wrote on Facebook: “I am absolutely fuming that I get a call to say my Nanny has had a fall at Sunnybank Nursing Home in Cruden Bay.
“Previously to this she has broken both legs on separate occasions due to being left alone on toilet! The care home’s response – “falls can’t be helped”.
“To add insult to injury no one was informed of the fall until we called the home to find out if her fitting were getting any better. To be informed she was ambulanced to hospital 9 hours previous with no one with her. Disgusted is not the word.”
Emma later said: “When I made the post, I was quite upset and quite angry. We were getting no answers from the home.
“Now, they are doing a full investigation and we have a meeting on Monday with them – we have to give them the chance to explain themselves.”
Several commenters on the Facebook post advised Stephen to have her grandmother taken out of the care home.
One Facebook user wrote: “That’s terrible, hope you can get her out of there, makes me so angry to think they are treated like that, what a shame, so sorry for your Nan”
Others suggested she should pursue legal action against the care home.
One of Stephen’s Facebook friends said: “That is truly awful! Make a complaint to the Care Inspectorate to have it investigated cause that should have NEVER happened!”
Another wrote: “You will have to put a formal complaint. Go higher than them. That’s ridiculous. The have a duty and care to look after people. Am horrified”.
A spokesman for Meallmore, the care home’s operators, said: “Both the home manager and the area manager have been in contact with the family, with the Care Inspectorate and other relevant authorities also informed of the incident.
“We are still reviewing the incident and, as is our policy following any significant event, we will undertake a full review with the resident, her family and other relevant professionals to update the resident’s care plan to minimise the risk of a future incident.
“The fact the resident’s family weren’t alerted as soon as she was admitted to hospital was unacceptable and we wholeheartedly apologise.”
A spokesman for the Care Inspectorate said: “We are aware of the incident. We have received appropriate notification from the service provider.
“The service provider is investigating what has occurred, to determine what action is necessary. We will be advised on the outcome of these investigations. We are also liaising closely with the Local Authority, Social Work Department.
“Anyone with a concern about a care home can contact our helpline on 0345 600 9527.”