Norfolk care home death: Diabetic man died after 'neglect'

James Delaney Image copyright Family of James Delaney
Image caption James Delaney died of natural causes aggravated by neglect, Senior Coroner Jacqueline Lake found

A 37-year-old diabetic man died after suffering neglect at a care home, a coroner has found.

James Delaney, who had mental health problems, died while he was a resident at Sapphire House Care Home in Bradwell, Norfolk, on 28 July 2018.

Mr Delaney was required to take insulin two times a day, but despite staff noting he had not taken insulin for three days, they failed to take action.

He died of a diabetic related illness, said Senior Coroner Jacqueline Lake.

'Gross failure'

The home had a policy that carers should call a GP if a resident had not taken their medication for more than 24 hours, but in this case the policy was not acted on, said Ms Lake.

She said there was "a gross failure" by the care home, which is run by Crystal Care Group, to provide "basic medical attention".

The inquest heard that over the 24 hour period before his death, Mr Delaney had exhibited symptoms of diabetic problems such as vomiting and tiredness.

But staff thought he was suffering from a sickness bug.

'Much-loved son'

Ms Lake said: "James was clearly unwell and he did not receive his insulin medication from 25 July to the day of his death. Medical attention should have been sought."

She recorded that he died from diabetic ketoacidosis, which is when the body starts to run out of insulin and harmful substances build up.

Ms Lake said she was pleased that the Crystal Care Group had taken action to remedy concerns over the training of staff on care of people with diabetes.

Mr Delaney's mother Roberta Conway, 65, of Norwich, welcomed the coroner's ruling.

"I hope this stops anything like this happening again," she said, adding that she thought about her son "about 100 times a day".

Crystal Care Group said in a statement that "James was a real character" and that he "is very much missed".

"We will, of course, reflect on today's outcome as a team," it added.

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