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Row over nursing home visits leads to dementia patient’s eviction

Forest Manor

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.

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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.”

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The author Lee Peart

4 Comments

  1. Residents have a basic human right to see their relatives. The home has a duty of care to residents and this duty of care includes seeing their family., and not just on a screen! I had a similar fight with my mums nursing home, I went to the DOLS team and asked for an urgent review of my mums dols. Stating that her human rights were being breached. This worked! the dols team supported me all the way. I celebrate family like Ms Knaggs who are doing the right thing by their relative. It’s so stressful for families having a relative in a home, when you can’t visit. I know my mum would rather see her family than not, and be alone at the end of her life.. there are too many tin pot dictators running these homes. The managers do not have the last say, family do! with support from professional bodies such as DOLS Teams.

  2. I am in the same position. Highly defended care home which has built a wall between its residents families and its staff. Blanket restrictions and denial of the level of harm inflicted on my mum. She went from being a happy frail woman with dementia to a weepy, immobile, uncommunicative person quite unrecognisable during the first lockdown. And now we’ve been given a written ban on visiting again with immediate effect. Illegal a breach of her right to a family life and inhumane.

  3. These care homes are getting away with too much now. They know how to abuse their own powers. Yes we all know there’s a virus going around, but when any care home refuses to allow relatives to see each other, well it’s just tragic. There’s just as many care home residents dying from being deprived of seeing loved ones, as much as there are people dying from Covid. I know which one I’D rather die from. Why is our country so obsessed with preserving life? It’s becoming a true joke. I never did the Clap For Carers thing for a very good reason. I’m not buying into their hype. Save the NHS, but don’t bother giving a crap about your own relative who is trapped in a care home.

  4. Stopping window visiting is seriously ridiculous we have just been told today we’re not allowed to visit my Dad who’s 83 with dementia at his window. He’s just going to think we have abandoned him. It’s been recognised that residents are dying of a broken heart not seeing loved ones. So how is this being allowed to continue

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