Care home gave OAP high dose of sedative

Andrew Oldham with a picture of his late mother Barbara
Andrew Oldham with a picture of his late mother Barbara
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A son has received a payout after care home staff gave his elderly mother higher than the recommended dosage of a drug used to treat severely agitated behaviour.

Andrew Oldham, 47, from Heron’s Reach, North Shore, was awarded the settlement for medical negligence in relation to treatment received by his late mother, Barbara, at Carders Court care home in Castleton, Greater Manchester.

Having suffered from depression for more than 30 years, Barbara was prescribed 5mls of Promazine on an occasional basis to boost her mood, mainly at night.

Later, a community psychiatric nurse recommended that the dosage be halved.

But Mr Oldham began to become worried about his mother.

He said: “My mum was a lovely, bubbly character but she started to become withdrawn and appeared more sedated and drugged every time I visited her.

“Sometimes she was asleep for the whole visit so I raised concerns with various members of staff that she appeared over-medicated but it fell on deaf ears.

“I became convinced that she was being given too many drugs.”

Andrew’s fears intensified after he visited his mum, who lived in North Shore before going into the home, on Christmas Day 2011, and found her slumped on a chair unable to hold her head up, speak, or walk. He said: “I broke down in tears as soon as I saw my mum in that state.”

Following a complaint from Mr Oldham, Rochdale Council Adult Care Services, carried out an investigation into the home.

It was found that Mrs Oldham was given Promazine by care home staff most nights.

And that during the fortnight before Mr Oldham’s Christmas visit, she was regularly given double the prescribed dosage.

Following the investigation, Mrs Oldham was moved to another care home.

He said: “It took six months to get all the medication pumped out of her system.

“I thought I would never see my mum happy again but with the great care she received she was soon back to her old self, making all the staff laugh.”

Mrs Oldham died aged 85 in March last year.

Mr Oldham received a letter from Bupa Services, the operators of the care home and a settlement of £5,000.