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Sandwell woman suffered significant hair, diet and skin problems due to nursing home failures, Ombudsman finds

A Sandwell woman suffered significant hair, diet and skin problems because the nursing home her local council placed her in failed to meet her cultural needs, it has been found.

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The woman’s family laid out their concerns about the care home, the identity of which has not been disclosed, to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

They claimed that despite her care plan stating she needed specialist hair and skin care, and also Caribbean meals prepared for her, the care home failed to do so.

Her family said she suffered hair loss and lost weight as a result.

A safeguarding enquiry carried out by the council partially upheld their concerns; particularly that the food provided by the care home did not meet the standards recommended by the woman’s speech and language therapist.

The care home agreed further steps to meet the woman’s needs, including that her hair be combed out, oiled and plaited, that it would use hair products as directed by her daughters and it would moisturise her skin after personal care.

Despite this the family reported further concerns to the council, including that the woman’s hair was damaged because of neglect and that her food contained lumps, despite her being assessed as needing a pureed diet.