Manager admits neglecting OAP

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A CARE home manager ignored pleas to fetch medical help for a 97-year-old woman with bed sores, a court heard.

Sandra Spendley, former manager and co-owner of Cedar Lodge home, in Culford, was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment suspended for two years at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday.

The 69-year-old, of Eastern Way, Bury St Edmunds, admitted an offence of ill- treating or wilfully neglecting a person who lacked or may have lacked mental capacity.

Prosecuting, Andrew Jackson said staff at the home had repeatedly asked Spendley to call in a nurse to help Emily Mendham but their pleas were ignored. On a number of occasions she lied telling them a nurse was on her way.

A book in which staff wrote their concerns about residents disappeared and pages were torn out of a replacement.

When bed sores were first spotted on Mrs Mendham in October 2010, Spendley told a carer to apply a cream rather than call in medical help, Mr Jackson told the court.

The sores turned black while Spendley continued to insist that a nurse had been called or that the sores were actually getting better, carer Sarah Nunn said in a statement to police.

Mrs Mendham was later taken to hospital where a consultant found two ulcers – one was 4cm deep.

Mr Jackson said she was moved on April 29 to more suitable accommodation where she died later that day.

Hugh Vass, in mitigation, said Spendley handed in a bundle of letters from relatives of people who had used Cedar Lodge and who praised the care they had recieved.

Mr Vass said: “It would seem that the treatment received by Mrs Mendham was the exception rather that the rule.”

Spendley was also ordered to pay £3,000 in prosecution costs and was banned from visiting Cedar Lodge or working in care anywhere for the next two years.

A statement from her husband Michael Spendley, who is now the sole provider of the home, said his wife now had no connections with the facility and it was under new management.

He said: “The staff have all received full training and nothing like this will happen in the future. Lots of lessons have been learnt and policies and procedures are in place to ensure nothing like this will ever happen again.”