Man, 93, died at Brundall Care Home after staff delayed getting medical treatment

Dick Bass in later years

Dick Bass in later years - Credit: Submitted

A care home resident died after staff delayed seeking medical treatment for his worsening condition, an inquest heard.

Richard Bass died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on May 8 last year, after suffering from a diabetic emergency.

But an inquest in Norwich yesterday heard how the 93-year-old, who had type 2 diabetes, could have recovered if he had been admitted sooner.

The former police detective inspector was a resident at Brundall Care Home, on Blofield Road, which was placed in special measures last year by the Care Quality Commission.

In a statement, his daughter, Jane Bacon, of Gorleston, said: 'I believe the care home's delay in admitting my father to hospital made the doctor's and nurses' valiant efforts to save his life so much more difficult.

'Had he been admitted earlier, I believe he might have survived.'

The inquest heard how Mr Bass moved from his house on Witton Close, Reedham, into the care home in April 2014.

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Staff said over the next 12 months they continued to monitor his condition, but problems started in spring last year.

Care home deputy manager Norma Whibley said he was put on antibiotics on May 1 after developing a urinary tract infection.

Three days later his condition worsened and nurses feared he had suffered a mini stroke during the night.

The following day, he was put on a list of residents to be seen by GP Dr Radha Sawhny during a routine visit.

But Samantha Beck, who was the care home manager at the time, said: 'I had a phone call from Dr Sawhny to say she was being held up and asked if there was anyone who needed to be seen.

'I checked with Norma and she said he was okay, so I said to come in the next morning. The information I was given was that he was frail and unwell, but was stable enough to wait to the next morning.'

When Dr Sawhny arrived on May 6, she immediately called for an ambulance to take Mr Bass to hospital.

Dr James Edwards, at the NNUH, told the inquest that Mr Bass was extremely unwell on arrival and in a hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state, which is caused by high blood glucose levels.

He added: 'When I saw him in A&E, my view was that he was not going to survive.'

He said the condition was treatable if picked up at an earlier stage, and added that Mr Bass should have been sent to hospital sooner.

Assistant coroner for Norfolk Johanna Thompson recorded a narrative conclusion.

She said: 'Richard died as a result of complications associated with his diabetic

condition probably accelerated by a delay in obtaining appropriate medical care while a resident at Brundall Care Home.'

A report from Norfolk County Council's adult social care team said the care home had since assessed its nurses for competency.

It said those who were found not to be competent were no longer at the home.

The report also noted that the home had improved its staff training and improved its care planning and risk assessment recording.

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