An 88-year-old dementia patient has been forced to relocate twice in a week after the shock closure of her nursing home.
Dorothy Buterworth was moved to Priory Court, in Clifton Drive, St Annes, after it was announced her nursing home in Bamber Bridge, near Preston, was to close after inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found serious problems with the £742 a week facility.
Her new home was miles away from her husband William, 90, who was forced to spend four hours a day commuting on four different buses and walk half a mile to reach her and then return to his home in Lostock Hall, near Preston. Now, Lancashire County Council has stepped in and Mrs Butterworth has been moved again, this time to Longton Nursing Home, to be closer to her husband.
Speaking about the upheaval and the original 30-mile move to St Annes, Mr Butterworth said: “The strain on me is terrible. To do that journey regularly when you’re as old as me isn’t funny and it’s pretty obvious I’m not going to be able to keep going regularly. I’m broken up, I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve sat here crying.”
Dorothy, a former shop worker, moved to Cuerden Grange in February after falling at her home and spending a month in hospital.
Mr Butterworth said: “It was all right at first, but a lot of things could have been better. They weren’t monitoring if her medicine patches were staying on and many a time I’d go at find them on the floor.
“They were employing kids who don’t have the experience to deal with ill elderly people.”
Owners of the home said the decision to close was because they were unable to recruit suitable nurses. The CQC said inspectors found “serious concerns” at the home, but were unable to provide details.
Mr Butterworth spent hours on the phone trying unsuccessfully to find another home nearby and the night before the home closed, social workers said they had only been able to find spaces in Blackburn, Ormskirk or St Annes. He said he was told that if he didn’t choose one of those homes, LCC would take over placing his wife.
Mr Butterworth, who has no children and can’t drive because of glaucoma, chose St Annes and had to walk to catch a bus on Leyland Road and travel to Preston Bus Station. There he had to get a bus to St Anne’s and walk quarter of a mile to the home.
Mrs Butterworth’s care is costing the couple £632 a week, with LCC contributing £112 towards nursing care.