‘Will you help me please?’ Carers ignored old lady begging for help over 300 times in an hour

A 98-year-old woman lies in a care home bed begging for help. She cries out 321 times in just one hour, including 45 times to go to the toilet, but her carers simply ignore her. A month later she died

Alone and unable to move, a 98-year-old woman begs for a someone to help her to the toilet – but her desperate pleas go unanswered for an hour.

Despite care workers being outside her door, it took 321 cries for someone to eventually respond to bed-ridden Yvonne Grant

The distressed pensioner was only able to relieve herself two-and-a-half agonising hours after she first asked for assistance, this included 45 requests for help to go to the loo.

These were the tragic, undignified final days of Yvonne’s life. The great-grandmother died less than a month after her concerned granddaughter planted a secret camera in Yvonne’s room in December 2012.

Shocking footage revealed the horrific treatment the former seamstress suffered at the hands of carers at Oban House nursing home in Croydon, South London.

Since her ordeal was exposed, two members of staff have been convicted of common assault over their ­treatment of Yvonne.

Granddaughter Vanessa Evans, 43, who hid a camera on three days, was stunned when she played back the recording.

It showed mother-of-four Yvonne calling out for help numerous times. When a carer finally appeared, she told Yvonne to use her ­incontinence pad – something she had always refused to do. Staff then tried to make her walk to the toilet but when she was unable to, they dropped her roughly back on to the bed. Only later on was she taken to the lavatory.

Vanessa, 43, said: “When I saw the video, I was devastated and fuming. But I can’t say I was shocked.

“I was expecting to find something but I didn’t think it would be this extreme. Her calls were definitely ignored because the nurse’s station was outside her room.

“I set the camera up on three occasions and on each occasion there were issues.”

Yvonne – whose worrying case is revealed in a BBC Panorama investigation – died at the end of January last year.

“She kind of gave up on life two days after we told her about the secret filming,” explained Vanessa, from Warlingham, Surrey. “She said, ‘Does that mean it will stop and not happen to other people?’ I believe the poor care contributed to her lack of a will to live.”

Yvonne, whose RAF hero husband John died in 1986, moved into 61-bed nursing home Oban House in 2010.

Over the next few years her family began to worry about the quality of care she was receiving. They repeatedly pointed out problems to staff at the care home but said nothing changed.

Vanessa, who works as a nursery cook, said: “We started having concerns not long after she went into the home. Things didn’t feel right, like the attitudes of the staff and quality of the nursing.

“After a while I started noticing little bruises appearing on her hands and that got more and more regular.

“I felt like I was her carer, bringing in meals for her at least three days a week. They also started making mistakes with her medication.

“She used to say the staff were really nice when we visited but turned nasty after we left. I’d go in there and she’d cry, saying that she didn’t want to be there anymore.

“It was distressing. I would keep it together until I got outside of the care home – then my heart would break.”

A spokesman for HC One, owner of Oban House, said: “The secret filming shows distressing failings. We do not tolerate this kind of behaviour. We apologised unreservedly to the late Mrs Grant and her family and we remain deeply sorry for the distress that was caused.

“We immediately notified the Care Quality Commission, the local Safeguarding Team and the police. We suspended and later dismissed the staff involved.” HC One said it suspended several members of staff after being handed the video. The company also announced it was considering installing visible CCTV cameras in all rooms at their care and nursing homes.

The latest inspection by the CQC said Oban House now meets all necessary standards.

The two staff members who were convicted were sentenced to 20-week suspended prison sentences last year and also received 150 hours community service. One of them is now appealing.

Vanessa said: “They should have been put in a care home because they would get better treatment in prison.”

  • Panorama – Behind Closed Doors: Elderly Care Exposed can be seen on BBC1 on Wednesday at 9pm.