A CARE company has admitted staff dumped medication needed by a mentally-ill elderly woman in the bin after missing 67 important visits to her home.
Housing 21, a firm used by Doncaster Council to provide assistance to vulnerable residents, suspended two members of staff after launching an investigation into the treatment of Angela Harding.
Mrs Harding, 75, suffers from bi-polar and needs to be given anti-depressant medication by carers in two daily visits. But daughter Madeleine Roberts found five days of tablets had been thrown away when she visited her sick mother.
Further investigations by a worried Miss Roberts discovered Mrs Harding had missed more medication after carers failed to make 67 visits to her sheltered accomodation at The Laurels, in Thorne Road, Doncaster, over a five month period.
Doctors told Miss Roberts, 32, that her mother’s mental state would be seriously harmed if she did not take the tablets.
Miss Roberts, of Walnut Road, Thorne, said: “My mum needs the medication regularly over a long period of time if it is to help her. It takes months to get the balance right.
“Her doctor said missing medication will affect her mental state and unbalance her. Her treatment has been unacceptable and it’s something which should never happen.
“A care company is put in place to look after loved ones and help carers. This company has failed to follow basic procedures.”
Housing 21 said binning the medication was a mistake by the individual care worker who escaped disciplinary action.
The firm said the investigation found calls were missed and staff had not recorded the reasons for not turning up as they should.
Housing 21 director Dominic Rothwell, said: “We are deeply sorry for the distress and inconvenience caused to Mrs Harding.
“We acknowledge there have been some procedural failures by our staff and have apologised for this.”
The firm said it will take action and has offered £100 compensation to Mrs Harding. Miss Roberts has rejected the “derisory” offer as she considers taking legal action against the firm.
She has also blamed Doncaster Council for not checking on the care companies.
Joan Beck, director of adults and communities, said: “We have investigated this matter and ensured all measures have been taken to improve practices where necessary.”