Legion care home fails war veteran

David Jones with his granddaughter (S).
David Jones with his granddaughter (S).

The family of an RAF veteran has criticised a Royal British Legion care home based in Ripon for the poor treatment he received in its care.

War hero David Jones, a grandfather of six who suffered from type-II diabetes and dementia, was admitted to hospital nine times and had his toes amputated following negligent care at Lister House care home and Harrogate District Hospital.

The care home on Southgate, Ripon – one of the Royal British Legion’s network of Poppy Homes for war veterans – along with the hospital have now agreed an undisclosed five-figure out-of-court settlement with Mr Jones’ family after they called for an investigation.

Mr Jones’ son, John, said his father’s treatment was “simply inexcusable”.

“I just hope that care homes and hospitals make sure they give patients their utmost attention, especially those with dementia as I would hate for anyone to suffer the pain my father did,” he said.

Mr Jones was admitted to hospital to treat infections, pressure sores and hypoglycaemic attacks because of his diabetes.

Lawyers at the family’s solicitors Irwin Mitchell found the care home – where Mr Jones was a resident fromAugust 2008 until July 2009 – did not have complete nursing records, had not carried out inspections and assessments, and had delayed referring him for medical assessments relating to complications with his diabetes.

Mr Jones, who served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, was 88-years-old when he became a resident at the care home and during his stay also had to be treated for blood poisoning and other infections.

He died aged 91 in 2011 of natural causes after being nursed back to health by a private care home in Harrogate.

A Royal British Legion spokesman said: “The quality of care at Legion homes is consistently high and our staff work hard to deliver this standard of service to all residents.”

When pressed by the Gazette on what improvements had been implemented since Mr Jones’ stay at Lister House, the spokesman declined to offer any further comment.

A Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: “The trust takes patient safety extremely seriously and reviews all cases such as this to see what opportunities there are to learn from them.”