Daughters’ say their mother, 91, was ‘ill-treated’ at Bupa home 

‘Death would have been kinder’: Daughters’ fury over how their mother, 91, was ‘ill-treated’ at Bupa home

  • The family of Sarah Ann Matthews, 91 said she received ‘dreadful’ treatment
  • They claim she sustained burns and blisters at the home in Toxteth, Liverpool
  • Ms Matthews died at the home in 2010 having suffered from Alzheimer’s disease 

A woman  who spent her final five years at a Bupa-run care home was treated so badly that death would have been kinder, her daughters said yesterday.

Sarah Ann Matthews, who was 91 when she died, allegedly sustained injuries due to negligence.

The family claims doctors said she ‘looked like she’d been in a car crash’ when she was admitted after breaking her leg in a fall. Among other injuries blamed on her ‘dreadful’ treatment were burns and blisters.

Mrs Matthews, who had Alzheimer’s, spent five years up until her death in 2010 at Mersey Parks care home in Toxteth, Liverpool, which at the time was run by Bupa. It has since changed ownership.

Sarah Ann Matthews, who was 91 when she died, allegedly sustained injuries due to negligence at the Bupa home in Liverpool


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Mrs Matthews, who was widowed at the age of 38 and had worked all her life, was admitted to the home after she was no longer able to look after herself.

Her daughters, Anne Horsley and Emily Ryan, say they are still haunted by the way she was treated. Mrs Horsley claims on one occasion her mother scalded herself because staff gave her hot tea in a cup instead of a beaker. They say she was left to sleep in tea-stained pyjamas that caused ‘blisters the size of oranges’.

Mrs Horsley also claims it took three weeks for staff to notice her mother had broken her arm, and she never found out how that injury occurred. ‘People don’t know how bad the quality of care really was and I think they should,’ she said. ‘Even now, I go to bed and I think about it. It’s still upsetting so many years later.

‘It sounds awful but we wish she would have died before she went in there. What sort of way is that to end your life?’

Mrs Horsley added that while she complained to care home staff about the treatment, she didn’t take it further because ‘she didn’t know how’.

She said: ‘I don’t want any compensation. I just want people to know what really goes on and how my mother was treated.

‘Deciding to put your loved one in a care home isn’t an easy decision to make and me and my sister visited our mum every single day seven days a week to wash her and feed her.

‘We couldn’t look after her 24/7 so we thought we were doing the right thing. We were so naive.’

The sisters spoke up after a damning ombudsman report into a complaint by the family of Lillian Caffery, who died at the same home last year.

Last night Bupa said it had offered to contact the family to discuss their concerns but could not comment on the case because it kept records for only seven years. Bupa still operates around 130 homes across the UK.

The Mail’s Dignity for the Elderly campaign has highlighted the mistreatment of pensioners in care homes and hospitals.

Legion bug tragedy at £1k a week home

Bupa was branded ‘callous’ yesterday by the family of a great-grandfather who died from Legionnaires’ weeks after moving into one of its care homes.

Kenneth Ibbetson, 86, picked up the disease from a tap in his £1,000-a-week room at Hutton Village care home in Brentwood, Essex, in 2015. Bupa faces a big fine at Ipswich Crown Court today after admitting health and safety failings.

Mr Ibbetson’s youngest daughter, Caroline Peters, 54, said Bupa had shown no compassion.

‘They have tried to detract from our father’s death in the most brutal and callous way,’ she said.

Caroline Peters, Vallerie Manning and Elaine Ward attend the hearing after their father Kenneth Ibbetson died from Legionnaire’s disease contracted at a Bupa home

Kenneth Ibbetson with his wife Marjorie picked up the disease after just 12 weeks in the home

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