A 101-year-old woman who suffered a serious head wound after falling out of bed at a failing nursing home was not taken to hospital, or seen by a doctor, for two days.

Jessie Keys, from Carshalton, who has been a resident at Firtree House Nursing Home, in Banstead, for three-and-a-half years, is in Epsom Hospital while a safeguarding investigation is conducted by social services and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) into why it took so long for her to be admitted.

In an inspection in November, the health and social care watchdog the CQC rated the home "inadequate overall", although the owner insists improvements had been made.

From March: Owner of Banstead care home rated "inadequate" confident it will not be closed down

Her great niece Kim Clements, 47, also from Carshalton, said Miss Keys was found by Firtree’s staff on the morning of May 18, after falling out of her bed.

She said: "She fell out of bed on Monday.

"They phoned my mother to say she had a scratch on her head but not to worry as she was fine.

"She had a big gash in her head. It was absolutely awful.

"Firtree phoned for an ambulance on Wednesday.

"Her head must have been pouring with blood every day."

Miss Clements said, days earlier, she had been shocked to discover that Miss Keys did not have a pressure mat placed next to her bed, just a "normal rubber mat" drenched in urine.

A pressure mat would alert staff if Miss Keys tried to get out of bed unaided, but Miss Clements was told it was "broken" and would be replaced.

Miss Clements said Firtree’s matron - who was not working at the time of the incident - told her Miss Keys was found on the floor at 6.15am, having been helped to go to the toilet at 6am.

She said: "The matron said they phoned an out-of-hours doctor who said she would not be coming out, but could visit on Wednesday.

"I thought they would have phoned an ambulance straightaway.

"On Wednesday morning the doctor came and said Jessie needed to go to hospital.

"The matron said they should have got help earlier, that it was left too long.

"She said the nurse [involved] had been severely reprimanded."

Miss Clements said her great aunt has experienced no other major problems during her time at Firtree and the home has "always kept her safe", but added: "It’s just lately. The staffing is terrible.

"We are worried about her going back."

Surrey Comet:

When Salim Jiwa, the owner of Firtree, was contacted for an explanation he insisted the newspaper should call the nursing home and speak to the matron, who he named only as Denise.

When questioned, he would not say whether, 10 days after the incident, he had personal knowledge of what had happened, given that he is the owner of the nursing home.

He later phoned back to say: "An investigation is ongoing and there is no other comment at the moment."

The care home's website lists Maria Varnava as manager and head nurse, and Mary Jones as deputy manager and staff nurse. There is no mention of anybody called Denise.

In October, Firtree was placed under police investigation after another Firtree resident, Frank West, 86, was admitted to Epsom Hospital, having fallen out of bed and sustaining a head injury.

He died in hospital 11 days later.

From October: Under-fire care home in Banstead being investigated by police after death of resident

Although Mr West died of natural causes, he had pneumonia when admitted and police told his daughter, Trudy Hampton, that there was a high level of opiates in his blood - of which there was no record at the home.

Speaking to this newspaper this week, Ms Hampton, said the police investigation into the matter had concluded but they "didn’t say there was any criminal activity or not" because police had needed a blood sample from Mr West, whose care at Firtree was funded by Surrey County Council (SCC).

Ms Hampton added: "The CQC didn’t give me their report [into the matter] as they said it’s not their policy.

"Social services didn’t share anything either due to data protection.

"There are still big questions over this.

"I think there’s a bit of a cover-up from the CQC point of view."

She added: "Firtree has had all these chances for a number of years to correct the inefficiencies and it has not corrected them.

"I wouldn’t put anyone there."

Of the 23 residents at the home, 13 are funded by SCC and four by Sutton Council.

An SCC spokesman pointed this newspaper to Sutton Council, but said: "We have asked the home to complete an internal investigation in the next 28 days just to make sure nothing happens again."

A Sutton Council spokesman said SCC was the relevant authority: "Safeguarding investigations are led by the local authority where the incident occurs, which in this case is SCC.

"SCC’s investigation into the care of Mrs Keys is ongoing and we are awaiting the outcome of its investigation."

He added: "Sutton Council and SCC have been working together with Firtree since its CQC inspection in November 2014 to raise the standard of care there."

A follow-up inspection to the one in November was conducted in March this year, but the findings have not yet been published by the CQC.

From October: 'Care Quality Commission complicit in wrongdoing of nursing homes', says angry relative

Asked about the incident involving Miss Keys, a CQC spokesman said: "We are aware of it.

"There is ongoing safeguarding work going on between ourselves, the local authorities and stakeholders and we cannot comment at this time."

He said the most recent inspection report for Firtree had been sent to Mr Jiwa and there is "no reason why it shouldn’t be published this month".

Surrey Comet:


Tom Hurst, 61, from Epsom, is a relative of a resident who has been at Firtree for four years.

He said the nursing home has made significant process recently and criticised the our recent coverage of the problems there as "unnecessarily sensationalist".

"I would say there have been notable improvements," Mr Hurst said.

"The new matron, Denise, has been there three months now. She is very much on top of things.

"There have been several monthly residents’ meetings. At the last one there was not one single complaint.

"They have done a pretty good job over the four years. Overall, the family’s happy."

He said Firtree is not the only care home in the area not providing a link to it most recently published report on its website and that "Firtree didn’t deserve to be singled out" by the newspaper for this.

Last month: Care home slammed by watchdog still not showing damning inspection report on its website

Mr Hurst said his main frustration is the delay in the CQC inspecting homes and then publishing its reports.

He said: "I am dumbfounded that the CQC inspected Firtree in March of this year and here we are in June and there is no sign of the report."

Got a story? Contact Hardeep Matharu by calling 020 8722 6346 or emailing hmatharu@london.newsquest.co.uk.