A family have branded a care home "disgusting" after claiming the place allegedly smelt of urine when they found their mum with dirt all over her feet.
Forest Hill Care Home in Worksop, East Midlands, is under fire after an image of a patient's filthy feet went viral this week after they reportedly reopened after a lockdown.
Paula Yarnall and her sister Laura claim the care home has been closed for over a month and were left "heartbroken" after visiting their mother, who has dementia, on Valentine's Day.
On February 14, Paula claims she found her 74-year-old mother – whom they wish to keep anonymous – with dirt resembling mud caked across her feet and says she found a sanitary product with what looked like faeces on it, left on the floor of her mother's bathroom.
She claims that when she raised her concerns over the state of her mother's feet, the care home run by Barchester Healthcare said the dirt was from one evening of strolling around the home with bare feet.
According to a post on Instagram, the family have raised three formal complaints to the care home provider since their mum joined in January 2021.
In the post, the family compared the property to a "prison" and said they didn't want to post any more photographs due to them being an "infringement of my mum's dignity."
Laura uploaded her family's words alongside a photo of her mother's feet with the caption: "The care home has been locked down to all visitors since 13th December 2021 and judging by what my sister has found today it would appear that the main reason for keeping the place closed to visitors is to stop anyone [from] seeing what is actually going on in there.
"Most of you know my mum suffers with late stage dementia and is unable to live at home even with outsourced care and care given by her family.
"The place reeks to high heaven of urine and judging by the state of my mums feet I dread to think what their cleaning regime is."
Paula has since spoken to the Worksop Guardian and said on top of the alleged conditions, the care home has failed to respect their mother's pre-dementia pescatarian diet, with Laura previously stating that their mother has been given meat.
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"I am absolutely appalled at what has been going on at Forest Hill behind closed doors to the public eye," Paula told the publication.
"It costs £800 a week there, and that is being funded by my mum – so my mum has had to sell her own home to pay for these fees and this is how they’re treating her.
“I want the staff that were caring for my mum over that period that she got like that removed from all of her personal care.”
A spokesperson from Barchester Healthcare told the Daily Star: “We are in contact with the family and have taken a number of actions regarding the situation, whilst also having expressed our sincere apologies to them.
"Two members of staff have been suspended while we conduct an investigation and we have notified the CQC (Care Quality Commission) of the concerns raised.
"Our senior team has visited the home and has reviewed cleaning procedures and care plans, and has reiterated to the team what is needed.
"The local CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group), local authority and social workers also visited the home.
"We cannot comment in detail but we can say that given the complexity of this case, some of the claims should be taken in context of the impetus on the home to respect each resident’s own wishes.
"However we are taking this extremely seriously and we will do everything possible to ensure this is addressed in full and never happens again.
"With regard to visiting, the home was open to visiting from the spring of 2021 onwards, with the exception of closures due to COVID outbreaks or the increase in Omicron which we were very transparent about with our relatives.
"We have been very careful to protect our vulnerable residents during the pandemic and, since last year, have had a range of visiting options in place including indoor visits for fully vaccinated visitors, and the use of our visiting suites for all others with the availability to visit on a daily or weekly basis – depending on what suits them.
"In general there have not been issues for the majority of people who wished to visit loved ones in the home. ”
The Daily Star has contacted the CQC for comment.
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