Investigation after elderly man victim of ‘aggressive incident’ at Hartlepool care home

Elwick Grange Care Home on Elwick Road in Hartlepool.
Elwick Grange Care Home on Elwick Road in Hartlepool.

The family of an elderly man say they felt let down by a care home after he was the victim of “an aggressive incident” at the hand of another resident within hours of going in.

Brian Aveyard, 89, went to Elwick Grange care home, Hartlepool, for a week of respite care.

But just after his family left him, Mr Aveyard was targeted by a female resident, which included a tray of food being thrown at him.

Mr Aveyard’s family said they do not blame the resident involved, accepting it was not their fault as their behaviour was affected by an infection.

But daughter Andrea Aveyard believes it could have been prevented as the family repeatedly told staff the woman had tried to get into Mr Aveyard’s room when he moved in.

And they say the home offered no support to Mr Aveyard or his family after the incident, which left him traumatised for months, when he was back at home.

The company, which runs the home, in Elwick Road, says it had acted appropriately at all times and its review was accepted by Hartlepool Borough Council.

Mr Aveyard, of the Fens, was in bed when the first incident happened.

He said: “She came in and picked up the tray. I thought she was helping the staff.

“She walked back and pushed the tray into my stomach and walked out. Then she walked back in and threw the tray and its contents at me.”

He added: “About an hour later she came back in, I was doing a jigsaw. She picked the board up and rammed it into my stomach and picked it up and threw the board at my face. I started screaming, the staff came in moments later.”

The family say an internal review found the woman concerned had not acted aggressively before, but was affected by an infection.

But Andrea said: “They should have been watching. I even told them twice ‘she’s come back’.”

Andrea took her dad back home the same day, but said over the following months he suffered nose bleeds and had trouble sleeping.

Elwick Grange owners Care UK said it has met and written to Andrea a number of times to discuss any concerns about her dad’s stay since the incident last March.

A spokesman said: “Following this incident we immediately conducted a detailed internal review and informed the local authority’s safeguarding team which, after reviewing our findings, concluded that our team acted appropriately at all times during and after Mr Aveyard’s short stay at the home as a respite resident.

“The home manager shared all of our findings with Ms Aveyard back in April 2015 and the regional director responsible for this home also wrote to her in July, where we apologised again and explained the reasons for the decisions made.

“We are committed to providing every resident with personalised care that is tailored to their individual needs, which involves creating detailed care plans that are regularly updated to reflect any changes and advice from healthcare professionals.

“Once again we apologise for any upset caused to Mr Aveyard, but we believe that our team did everything that it could have on the day in question.”