An 81-year-old woman has been evicted from a nursing home after a row between her daughter and care provider over socially distanced visits.
Valerie Boxford was given 28 days’ notice to leave Forest Manor in Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire following a severe breakdown in relations between her daughter Emma Knaggs and the home.
Ms Boxford was diagnosed with vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s five years ago and had moved into Forest Manor in 2018.
Relations between the two parties deteriorated after Ms Knaggs’ requests to be granted window visits to see her mother were turned down on the grounds that the building could not accommodate them.
Ms Knaggs told the Mirror: “To evict a vulnerable woman, during a pandemic, when you can’t even evict tenants from housing associations or council [housing], I just couldn’t believe it.
“In my opinion [they] just wanted to get rid of me because I’m my mum’s voice.
“I understand they’ve got guidelines to go through but I was asking for one window visit a week for five minutes, I don’t think that was too much to ask for.”
Jayne Connery, founder of Care Campaign for the Vulnerable, said she was receiving an “unprecedented amount of correspondence raising serious concerns from both carers and families” across the UK.
“While we are aware that many providers are thankfully exercising compassion towards visitation and understanding the important need to maintain family contact with full risk assessment, it’s evident a minority are ‘shutting up shop’.”
The home’s operator, Asha Healthcare, said it had made every effort to keep Ms Knaggs in touch with her mother during lockdown, including producing a newsletter, regularly posting pictures and videos on its Facebook page, and arranging live video calls.
The care home operator said it had been left with “no alternative” but to serve notice on a resident for the first time in its 19-year history following the breakdown of relations with Ms Knaggs.
Asha Healthcare said Ms Knaggs had made a number of “unsubstantiated” complaints to the council and CQC, and posted derogatory remarks about the home on Facebook.
A spokesman for the company said: “We have always sympathised with what we believed to be her true goal of being able to maintain physical contact with her mother but sadly Ms Knaggs was not sympathetic to the challenges we faced as a care provider in trying to prevent the virus from taking the lives of our residents.”