Sussex

Family of Dean Spicer criticise Sussex care home following death

  • 29 April 2013
  • From the section Sussex
Dean Spicer
Image caption Dean Spicer died from a lung infection while staying at the care home in Polegate

The family of a 48-year-old man who died within hours of being taken into a nursing home have called for tougher powers for the industry's regulator.

Dean Spicer, who had severe arthritis, died at Havelock House, in Polegate, Sussex, after he was taken in for respite care.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) raised concerns over staff numbers and training two months before his death.

The home has not admitted liability, but its insurers paid compensation.

A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Spicer had suffered from a lung infection. The coroner recorded he had died of natural causes at the home in February 2012.

The family claim paramedics said he could have been dead for up to eight hours before being discovered, despite needing to be checked every hour.

'Still in his trousers'

Mr Spicer's mother, Frances, from Hailsham, in Sussex, said he was taken into the home after suffering severe diarrhoea.

She said the family were only told about his death after they rung the care home themselves the following morning.

"He was lying there dead, still in his trousers, from the night before when he had gone to bed with his clothes on," she said.

His father Les said: "The thing they [the home] have never ever said - even now it would be helpful - is that they were sorry it had happened."

Two months before his death a report by the CQC said there was "insufficient evidence" that staff received the necessary training.

Mr Spicer's family said the regulator should have tougher powers.

The care home's owner did not respond to the BBC's request for a comment, but has always denied liability.

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