Daughter feared carers were ‘going to end up killing’ her elderly Sheffield mother after medication mix up

Mandy Boyce holds the tablet packet and drying agent which an employee of Sanctuary Care gave to mother Moreen. Picture: Andrew Roe
Mandy Boyce holds the tablet packet and drying agent which an employee of Sanctuary Care gave to mother Moreen. Picture: Andrew Roe
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A distraught daughter has spoken out about her elderly mother’s ‘undignified’ care after she was given a tablet not meant for human consumption.

Mandy Boyce said the blunder was the ‘final straw’ after becoming unhappy with the service her mother, Moreen Giblin, is given by staff from Sanctuary Home Care Ltd.

The firm, which provides home care visits for Sheffield Council, has been labelled ‘not safe’ in its latest inspection and was rated as ‘requiring improvement’ in a report by the Care Quality Commission this month.

The incident which enraged Mrs Boyce involved a staff member giving 79-year-old Mrs Giblin, who has Alzheimer’s Disease, a drying agent which came in a blister pack of tablets and is meant to stop the medication going off.

Mrs Boyce said her mother had been at home on the Manor with her brother Peter Giblin, when a female carer visited to give her some tablets. The company provides her mother with four home care visits per day.

Mrs Boyce said: “My mum chewed it for about five minutes before my brother realised and took it off her. She said it was like chewing rock.

“Goodness knows what might have happened as she has trouble swallowing.

“They are supposed to watch her take the medication but they left him alone with her. I thought, ‘They’re going to end up killing my mother.’

“I thought that this is the final straw. I’m fighting them all the time to get proper care for my mum.”

Mrs Boyce, from Crookes, said she has nothing against the carer involved personally and added: “A lot of the carers are really good but the job turnover is very high because you’re just worked into the ground.”

The incident was not the first of its kind for Mrs Giblin, as carers had taken the drying agent out of the packet before and Mrs Boyce had written notes on the packet asking them not to – out for fear her mother would accidently swallow one. 
Mrs Giblin, who worked for the NHS for more 30 years, was referred to Sanctuary Home Care after she suffered a stroke. The pensioner takes several tablets throughout the day, which her carers give to her.

Mrs Boyce said some are often forgotten about or her mother is given too many.

She added: “Sometimes they don’t dress her. It’s very undignified.

“She worked with mentally disabled people and she took pride in her work. Her life is rubbish at the moment, she is a shell of her former self.”

Liz Griffiths, head of service for Sanctuary Home Care said: “The local safeguarding team is looking into the allegations independently and we are fully committed to complying with any recommendations that may follow in their final report.”