Griev­ing daugh­ter at­tacks care home

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY DANA GLOGER

JEWISH CARE has been ac­cused by a griev­ing daugh­ter of fail­ing to pro­vide ad­e­quate help for her dy­ing mother.

He­lene Parnes, 88, from Har­row, Mid­dle­sex, moved into the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Leo Baeck House in Hamp­stead, North­West Lon­don, in March this year.

Three days later she was taken to hospi­tal with a chest in­fec­tion, and di­ag­nosed with a tu­mour, but told that she could be dis­charged.

Her daugh­ter, Veron­ica Lans­man, 63, said that fol­low­ing the di­ag­no­sis, Jewish Care be­came un­help­ful and did not want to have her mother back.

“She needed 24-hour oxy­gen and they said they could not have some­one with those needs in the home as it was a care home and not a nurs­ing home,” said Mrs Lans­man.

Staff at the Royal Free Hospi­tal, also in Hamp­stead, li­aised with Jewish Care to try to get Mrs Parnes into Os­mond House Nurs­ing Home, which is next door to Leo Baeck. Ac­cord­ing to Mrs Lans­man, who also lives in Har­row, it took four days for the man­ager of the home to as­sess her mother, and then there was around two weeks of ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween Jewish Care and Har­row coun­cil over fund­ing.

Dur­ing this time, Mrs Parnes had to re­main in hospi­tal, de­spite prac­ti­tion­ers say­ing she was fit to be dis­charged.

“They couldn’t do any­thing more for her in hospi­tal, but she had nowhere to go, so had to stay there much longer than nec­es­sary,” Mrs Lans­man said.

“She wanted to be out of the hospi­tal and felt that I was keep­ing her there,” she said.

Mrs Parnes’s con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated and she died in hospi­tal, hav­ing spent more than five weeks there.

She and her hus­band, Michael, 70, wrote to Jewish Care to com­plain and to ask for the £5,000 ad­vance, paid when Mrs Parnes moved into Leo Baeck, to be re­funded.

The cou­ple re­ceived a re­ply from Cy­donie Garfield, head of strat­egy at the or­gan­i­sa­tion last week in which she said she was con­cerned at “the un­for­tu­nate se­quence of events” which seem to have fol­lowed Mrs Parnes’s ad­mit­tance to Leo Baeck House.

Ms Garfield said she would be con­duct­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into their com­plaint and would con­sider their re­quest for a re­fund.

John Coleby, Jewish Care’s di­rec­tor of care ser­vices, said: “We take com­plaints very se­ri­ously in­deed and we are car­ry­ing out a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion. We have asked to meet Mr and Mrs Lans­man once the out­come is known so we can dis­cuss what hap­pened and what lessons can be learned.

“We are never com­pla­cent about the way in which our ser­vices are run and it is not our in­ten­tion to cause fam­i­lies ad­di­tional stress at dif­fi­cult times.”

He said they could not com­ment fur­ther un­til af­ter the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but “again apol­o­gise for any dis­tress that may have in­ad­ver­tently been caused.”

Veron­ica Lans­man at the hospi­tal bed­side of her mother, He­lene Parnes

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