A FRAIL pensioner, so emaciated that he looked like a "skeleton", died after a series of failures at an under-staffed nursing home, a sheriff ruled yesterday.
George Fairlie, 74, was admitted to hospital suffering from terrible injuries and clinging to life only after shocked members of his family who had arrived to take him out to lunch found him in poor health and raised the alarm. Medical staff were unable to save him and he died a month later.
[The Sheriff] said that Mr Fairlie's death in 2002 was due to staff shortages and appalling standards at the £400-a-week home. He had been left severely dehydrated and malnourished by staff.
Mr Fairlie, a diabetic who had also suffered a stroke, was covered in bed sores when he arrived in hospital.
His daughter-in-law Jan Bruce, a nurse, said: "He looked as if he had just come out of a concentration camp."
His family members said they had complained several times to senior staff at the home about their father's deteriorating condition but nothing was done.
Mr Fairlie's daughter Ann Cook earlier told the inquiry: "He was unrecognisable as my father. He was a skeleton. You could see the bones in his skull.
"His legs were skinny and he had a gangrenous foot. He was in obvious pain. He was always in a wet pad. His face was covered in food, he wasn't shaved, his hair wasn't combed."
Firstly, this makes me incredibly fucking angry. This is simply un-fucking-acceptable anywhere, let alone in what we are pleased to call a civilised country.
He said: "The responsibility for the deficiencies of the home must rest with the manager Mrs Grogan [The home's manager—DK]. There was no evidence that she had a 'hands on' approach. There was no evidence that she was proactive in trying to get to grips with the difficulties."
Well, up to a point, Lord Copper; yes, she certainly bears a responsibility.
But the people that I really want to beat the living fucking shit out of are the nurses and auxiliaries who were supposed to be looking after him. They had a duty of care and they failed: they were set a test of humanity and they failed so fucking badly that everyone of them should be fucking sterilised, publically flogged and then thrown into the fucking sea.
My contempt for these scum who could not be arsed to ensure that an old man was decently attired, fed and not rotting away knows no bounds; all that I can really wish on them is that they die—hopeless and alone—and in excrutiating agony.
Damn it, the manager of our nursing home wasn't "hands on"; he was out trying to drum up business. But we—and by "we" I mean the auxiliaries, as the registered nursing were at best lazy and, at worst, incompetent—ensured that our patients were cared for; we stayed late, we brought them presents from our own money, we talked to them, we cared for them.
Yes, Mr Fairlie's home may have been short of staff; so were we. And there may well have been "appalling standards", but who has to maintain the standards? Box-ticking managers? No.
The staff must take the full force of the blame; I hope that they feel the guilt of what they put this man through until they die. I also hope that none of them are ever allowed to work in care again; they should all be fined, and the registered nurses should be stripped of all qualifications. And then the entire lot should be prosecuted for manslaughter and then flogged and killed.
You can argue that we shouldn't allow the state to kill people but, as I said before, the staff failed the test of humanity. They are no better than animals and thus killing them entirely justified.
I am fucking raging, so I am going to go to the pub to calm myself...