Gran, 80, left without drugs at Bestwood Park care home
A CARE home has agreed to pay compensation to an elderly woman after she was left without life-saving drugs for at least a week.
Jean Hackett, 80, needed to be given the drugs daily to treat Addison's disease.
The condition disrupts the production of hormones and can be life-threatening if left untreated.
But staff at Hawthorn Lodge Care Home, Bestwood Park, failed to give her the drugs for at least seven or eight days, leading to her falling unconscious and being rushed to hospital.
Mrs Hackett was placed on a drip and has since recovered but her daughter Sharon Watkins, 56, said: "We really thought mum was going to die."
Mrs Hackett had an Addisonian or adrenal crisis, an emergency which occurs when the body is low in the steroid hormone cortisol. It can lead to coma and death.
"She was drifting in and out of consciousness," said Miss Watkin. "She is such a frail old woman. She is still poorly now. I don't know if she will ever fully recover."
The family have been awarded £2,500 by the company that runs the home after it admitted failing to give Mrs Hackett the drugs.
But Miss Watkin said money was not the aim of the legal claim. She added: "Mistakes happen but this was going on for days. It just isn't acceptable that an elderly person has been treated in this way. When we got to the hospital it unravelled just how long mum had not had her medication for.
"We made assumptions that the people caring for her would do what they said they would."
Following the incident, which happened in January 2011, Miss Watkin moved her mother to the council-run Cherry Trees care home, Bestwood Park, where she was being "very well looked after".
Mrs Hackett is a former medical records worker who was invited to a Buckingham Palace garden party for her contribution to the community.
She has Alzheimer's and her condition deteriorated after the death of her husband, Albert, who passed away in 2009 after a heart attack.
She moved to Hawthorn Lodge in November 2010.
Manchester-based JMW medical negligence solicitor Katie Nolan, who represents the family, said: "This failure to give Jean her medication was an appalling breach of trust on the part of the care home."
Geoff Lane, director of Regal Care Trading Limited, which operates Hawthorn Lodge, said: "Due to a breakdown in communications between Mrs Hackett's GP and the care home, one of the elements of Mrs Hackett's medication ran out.
"As a result Mrs Hackett did not receive some of her medication for several days and had to be admitted to hospital.
"We accepted at the time that there were deficiencies in the records of medication Mrs Hackett should have received in December 2010.
"Regal Care's insurers have admitted liability. A sum of £2,500 compensation has been agreed via Mrs Hackett's family's solicitors. The settlement is now pending the court's approval as the award has to be assessed by a judge acting on Mrs Hackett's behalf as she is a protected person.
"Hawthorn Lodge is now operating under new management.
"The family received a written apology in 2011, and since then we have worked hard to transform the standards of care at Hawthorn Lodge Care Home and all staff are dedicated to providing quality care for every resident."
Regal Care Homes Ltd, which was in charge of the company at the time of the incident, went into administration in May 2012. Regal Care Trading Limited took control of the business in October 2012.