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Fears for patients at Osborne Grove care home after MRSA cases and break-in

PUBLISHED: 13:35 28 November 2018

Osborne Grove Nursing Home in Upper Tollington Park, Stroud Green. Picture: James Morris

Osborne Grove Nursing Home in Upper Tollington Park, Stroud Green. Picture: James Morris

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Haringey Council is preparing to downsize the beleaguered Osborne Grove care home following a reprieve earlier this year that apparently saved it from closure.

The Broadway understands Haringey Council is attempting to move all the remaining patients into one wing of the Stroud Green home despite fears it could be bad for their health. It informed relatives of their intentions in a letter in July.

Meanwhile, council chiefs have admitted a break-in took place at Osborne Grove – Haringey’s last publicly run care home – a fortnight ago. An intruder is understood to have breached security in the early hours of November 13, and was able to sit in a resident’s living room watching TV before he was caught by staff.

Liz Squires, daughter of long-term patient Ruby Ciokajlo, also claimed her mother had contracted MRSA at the Upper Tollington Park home; that Osborne Grove was too short-staffed to accompany Ruby to hospital with a chest infection; and that when she was discharged staff failed to order enough oxygen to help her breathe, and obtained more just 20 minutes before the supply ran out.

In June, Haringey’s cabinet voted to overturn the decision to shut the home. It came after a damning CQC report from March 2017 found the majority of residents hadn’t had a shower in three months.

Between the cabinet decision in December 2017 and the reversal six months later, patients had started to be taken out of Osborne Grove and put into alternative homes. This was stopped in June.

The council has now confirmed it is now planning to put the six remaining residents in one wing, which Liz fears could end up harming them further. “We’ve seen from other people who have moved wing that it can be detrimental to their already fragile health,” she said.

Liz told the Broadway that when her mother was rushed to hospital with a chest infection in October, nobody from the home went with her as they were too short-staffed. It meant the 93-year-old, who has problems talking, had nobody who could speak for her.

When Ruby was discharged from the Whittington Hospital, Liz tried to give her a honey, lemon and ginger drink to help alleviate her symptoms. However, nurses repeatedly tried to stop her.

“They kept saying I had to have it prescribed. They didn’t want to do anything to help her, and were being difficult. They could fixate on this, but not getting a nurse to help with my mother when she went into hospital,” she said.

Management at Osborne Grove also ordered antibiotic tablets for Ruby’s chest infection, despite knowing she couldn’t swallow. They also didn’t get enough oxygen supplies for her breathing difficulties, despite it being a condition of her discharge.

Liz said: “This meant it had to be rationed and turned off every 20 minutes, to conserve it and make sure it would last until the delivery arrived.

“In the end, the new oxygen only arrived 20 minutes before it ran out completely.”

To add to the catalogue of issues, Ruby also contracted MRSA in September. The CQC said it had been notified about the outbreak, and the break-in.

Stroud Green councillor Eldridge Culverwell (Lab) said he was “very concerned” by events at the home.

“It’s also of great concern to residents at the home and their families. The break-in is unacceptable, and should not be taken lightly. Where is the report from the police? Where is the report from the company who made the door? There’s a lot of questions to be answered about this. I only found out five days after it took place.”

He added there should be a meeting between residents’ families, councillors, council officers and MP Catherine West.

Haringey Council said it couldn’t comment on individual circumstances, and said “any health issues relating to the home are given urgent attention”. It added: “Our priority is to ensure all residents at Osborne Grove nursing home are properly supported. When there are concerns, we have a complaints procedure in place and these are responded to as quickly and fully as possible and within the stated timescales.”

A spokesperson said the council was “exploring options for for care provision on the site”.

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