Care home wrong but smoking ban stays
Jun 28 2008 by Sam Casey, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
CARE HOME WRONG BUT BAN STAYS
CARE home bosses in Huddersfield have admitted they were not forced to ban smoking.
The admission comes after a resident’s family complained about the ban. But the health chiefs refuse to back down.
And New Century Care, which owns the Aden View home at Primrose Hill, now also wants to review Elizabeth Hobbs’s contract to live at the home.
Daughters of the 89-year-old were unhappy at the company’s moves to ban smoking inside the home from July 1.
Rules mean care homes can let residents light up.
Under Government legislation homes are allowed to let residents smoke in bedrooms or a special smoking room.
Oil rigs and prisons are also exempt from the no-smoking law.
Jenny French, New Century Care operations manager, had said the company had no choice. But in a letter to Mrs Hobbs’s daughter, Barbara Johnson, the company admitted it could have chosen to permit smoking.
The letter said: “We are aware some other establishments have chosen to exercise the exemptions within the law relating to care homes.
“However, after full consultations last year, our company, in line with hospital trusts and the largest proportion of care homes, introduced our policy.”
It added that the decision was for the benefit of residents, staff and visitors and that notice was given about the ban.
After the Examiner reported the family’s concerns the company also said it wanted to review Mrs Hobbs’s position.
The letter went on: “A recently highlighted newspaper article would appear to be publicly stating that you feel the home is not meeting your mother’s needs or the family’s expected needs.
“This places us in a difficult position as your mother is funded by Kirklees social services and our contract with them states that if needs are not met a review of placement should take place.
“To this end I am requesting a care review for your mother with your social worker.”
Mrs Hobbs’s daughter Sue Bellwood said the family remained unhappy.
She said: “It’s supposed to be a care home. The people that work there are caring for people, but I hope when the management are old they will look back and regret how they have treated people.”
She said they were now looking at other homes, adding: “It’s a shame our mother won’t be able to spend her last days in the place where she has settled.”