The family of an elderly woman left with sores and badly dehydrated after neglect at a care home has been paid compensation.

Josephine Cunningham, from Worcester Park, was left with the injuries during a stay at Appleby House, an Epsom care home operated by Care UK, a leading independent provider of health and social care services.

Mrs Cunningham, an airwoman during the Second World War, stayed at the home for more than two months when aged 86 after being discharged from Epsom Hospital.

Her daughter, Janice Cunningham, became increasingly concerned at the quality of her care.

On different occasions, Janice Cunningham observed her now immobile mother left in awkward positions, severely dehydrated and, in September 2008, she began to develop painful pressure sores on her feet and hips.

The concerned daughter lobbied Surrey Primary Care Trust for her mother to be moved to another care home. When she was moved, the pressure sores began to heal in a few months. She died on February 3, 2010.

The family has now been paid compensation after taking legal action through solicitors Russell Jones and Walker, who argued the care home had breached its duty of care.

Janice Cunningham said: “I think this incident highlights the casual way the elderly are treated in some residential care homes.

“It is terrible my mother had to endure the pain of the pressure sores.”

A spokespwoman for Care UK said: "Mrs. Cunningham was a resident at one of our residential homes from September to November 2008 after a long stay in hospital.

"Our assessment on arrival was that we could provide for her needs in a residential setting. Shortly afterwards staff noticed the development of a pressure sore on her heel and, as a result, we arranged for her to be visited and treated by district nurses every other day.

"It became clear though that Mrs. Cunningham needed more comprehensive nursing care than can be available in a residential home.

"The manager instigated a nursing needs assessment and arranged her transfer to a nursing home where she could receive round-the-clock clinical attention. "Care UK always endeavours to deliver the highest-possible standards of care for all our residents, but we have accepted that on this occasion we could have done more to ensure Mrs. Cunningham’s comfort.

"We have learned from the experience and made changes to our procedures."