Wednesday, 3 January 2007

The Death of Maud Lever

On 18 October 2003, 94-year-old Maud Lever was found freezing to death at a £740-a-week care home in Bushey, Hertfordshire.

She died in hospital two days later.

On 13 February 2004, the This is London website reported thus:

"Carer Chandradeo Seeratun was supposed to look after 94-year-old Maud Lever, placed in a nursing home by her family for only one week.

Mrs Lever's family entrusted her into the care of nurses like Mr Seeratun, believing she would be safe in their hands. But one night Mrs Lever climbed onto a window sill, opened it and, unobserved by staff, stayed there all night as temperatures dropped near freezing. She died a few days later in hospital of severe hypothermia.

Now Mr Seeratun, the senior nurse in charge that night, stands accused of failing in his duties. The 40-year-old is being investigated for:

Not checking Mrs Lever once an hour, as required by the home. Not calling the emergency services immediately and instead trying to treat her himself. It was only when the day shift took over that an ambulance was called. Falsely recording her temperature in the nursing home's records as being normal. It was in fact at least 10C below normal.

Mr Seeratun had been working for 24 hours by the time he found Mrs Lever at the window - because HE WAS MOONLIGHTING FROM ANOTHER CARE HOME WHERE HE WAS EMPLOYED. There are suspicions he was too exhausted to pay enough attention to the residents in his care.

Despite Mrs Lever's death HE CARRIED ON WORKING AT THE OTHER NURSING HOME FOR A FURTHER FOUR MONTHS WITHOUT TELLING HIS EMPLOYER, BUPA, WHAT HAD HAPPENED. Bupa suspended him when details of his activities emerged at an inquest.

Mrs Lever, a former civil servant from Mill Hill, had gone to the private Kestrel Grove home... for a week to give her daughter, 75-year-old Patricia Voce, a break.

On the night of 18 October last year she climbed onto the window sill and partly opened the window, although latches prevented it opening fully. She was found by Mr Seeratun. Ambulance staff told relatives her temperature was the lowest they had seen in anyone at a care home.

At Hatfield coroner's court last week, coroner Edward Thomas recorded a verdict of death due to neglect, and said there had been a 'gross failure to provide adequate warmth and attend to someone who was dependent, very dependent'... Mrs Voce said...

'It was their job to look after her and they didn't'...

The owner of Kestrel Grove, Paul Tripp, said:

'I deeply regret what happened and my sympathy is with the family. Our home offers the best care and we have been let down by one person. He didn't follow our procedures or those of a qualified nurse.'

He said Mr Seeratun was immediately suspended.

'I have reported him to the National Midwifery Council and he is being investigated'...

Mr Seeratun refused to comment."
No arrest or manslaughter charge, then?

Silly question really.

Seen below are a civil servant of the old school and a civil servant of the current variety.
Who would you rather have attending to your welfare when you're past your prime?

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