A care home inspector has told an inquest how he saw a resident of a Birmingham nursing home being treated in an undignified way.
Joe O’Connor said loud pop music was being played at the Maypole Nursing Home, in Kings Heath, where a colleague also challenged a member of staff for dragging a patient backwards in a bucket chair.
The inspector from the National Care Standards Commission was speaking at the inquest into the death of Leslie Vines, who died less than ten days after moving to the home in September 2002.
The nursing home has already been investigated for a number of deaths - a total of 27 people died at the home in 2002, compared to just eight in 2001 - and has since closed down.
Mr O’Connor visited the home on Alcester Road in December 2002, to investigate a complaint made by a different resident’s family.
A patient sitting in a bucket chair, which were taken out of use in the 1980s, was spotted being dragged backwards by staff from one section of the Maypole Nursing Home to another.
Bucket chairs, which sink into a dip making it very hard for an able bodied person to get out of, were used to prevent falls.
He said: “I saw what I now consider to be a bucket chair. My colleague challenged a member of staff about why the patient was in a bucket chair being pulled from behind.”
When coroner Aidan Cotter asked if the person was being treated in an undignified way, Mr O’Connor replied “yes.”
Mr O’Connor said that when he conducted a weekend inspection on February 23, 2003, the atmosphere at the home was “tense and volatile and people’s dignity wasn’t being maintained.”
The inquest earlier heard from Dave Mason, the former head of nursing home registration and inspection unit at Birmingham Health Authority, who believed bucket chairs were illegal and he would take immediate action if he saw one being used in a home.
Mr Mason’s team carried out a number of announced and unannounced inspections at the home up until September 2001.
During an inspection conducted in February 2001, there were concerns that the home wasn’t being adequately managed but during another inspection in September 2001, Mr Mason was happy that things were being done.
Earlier, Mr Vines’ daughter Hazel Bicknell had told the inquest he was not given enough food at the home.
The inquest continues.