Widow calls for ‘cover-up’ carers to be struck off

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 June 2011

(click on image for larger view)Margaret Lewis holding a photo of her husband colin, Neva road, Weston.

(click on image for larger view)Margaret Lewis holding a photo of her husband colin, Neva road, Weston.

Archant

A HEARTBROKEN widow says the care workers who covered up a serious accident which led to the death her husband should be jailed and struck off the medical register.

After a two-week trial at Bristol Crown Court two former employees of Penlee Nursing Home, Weston, were found guilty of neglecting a person who lacked capacity.

Alfug Andom, of Starling Close, Worle, and Euphemia Ntintili, of Severn Avenue, Weston, denied hatching a plot to cover up 75-year-old Colin Lewis’ fall from his bed, which left him with a broken hip and toe.

Mr Lewis’ injuries went undetected for eight days, before he was admitted to Weston General Hospital, where they were discovered.

After complications, he died 12 days later on April 14, 2009.

Speaking after the trial, wife Margaret Lewis, who was also a witness, said: “To me it was always a straightforward case as he was dropped out of bed and his injuries showed this.

“I am delighted with the result, and also shocked as I had expected the worse. Colin had no-one to speak up for him so it was up to me to see that justice was done for him.

“The judge said if he was to go into a care home and something happened, he would want someone like me batting for him.”

On March 28, 2009, senior care assistant Andom, aged 38, and Polish junior care assistant Elwira Koziel, had been changing Mr Lewis’ bed at the Uphill Road North home while he was in it.

During the change, Mr Lewis fell and was hurt.

As the two workers picked him up, the senior registered nurse on duty, Ntintili, aged 54, walked into the room – and suggested the cover-up for fear they may get into trouble.

When Miss Koziel heard Mr Lewis was in hospital, she told Andom, from Cameroon, and Ntintili, from South Africa, that she was going to tell the care home manager the truth.

Miss Koziel, who was a key witness, admitted her role in the accident and was given a caution by police.

Mrs Lewis, of Neva Road, said she hopes the registered nurse, Ntintili, will be struck off the medical register and that although she would prefer they were jailed for a short period, she was told they are likely to get a community order.

Mrs Lewis, who said the last words her husband said to her were ‘I love you’, added: “If someone is thinking of putting a loved one into a care home they need to do their research, visit the home, speak to residents at the home and not just look at the glossy brochure.

“People need to ask questions and demand to see records if they think something isn’t right.”

Andom and Ntintili will be sentenced on Monday.

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