001/Southern

Care home manager guilty of neglect sentenced

16/03/2012

A 52 year old care home manager who wilfully neglected residents' needs has been sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court.

Richard Riley, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Mersey-Cheshire said: "Karen Southern managed the six-unit Stonedale Lodge Care Home in Croxteth and was responsible for safeguarding residents' care.  Her responsibilities included hiring nursing and care staff, the upkeep of the home and cleaning services.  However, she failed to provide sufficient resources to afford even the most basic care to residents."

Residents were left in filthy conditions as a result of Southern neglecting to ensure adequate cleaning of the home and failing to provide the staffing levels necessary to cater for the needs of vulnerable residents.

"Her regime was uncovered by the daughter of a resident after the home failed to provide the basic care for her mother, 90 year old Joyce Farrow", said Mr Riley.

Mrs Farrow, who suffered from vascular dementia, was the victim of a catalogue of neglect in the home.  Her daughter, Pauline Slaughter, raised concerns on a number of occasions about the lack of adequate care, poor resident management and filthy conditions on Dalton Unit - one of the two dedicated dementia units at Stonedale Lodge - even keeping a diary to record incidents.

Prosecutors at CPS Mersey-Cheshire authorised that Southern be charged with an offence of wilfully neglecting a person who lacked capacity whilst having the responsibility for the care of that person.

"The charge was authorised to reflect the appalling level of neglect of a vulnerable, elderly person who was not mentally equipped to care for herself.

"As care home manager, Southern was ultimately responsible for the care of residents.  This is a duty she fell far short of fulfilling."

Southern was sentenced to a term of eight months imprisonment suspended for two years, was ordered to perform 120 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £5,000 costs.

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