The manager of a Kings Heath nursing home where 27 people died in a year told an inquest that residents were notorious for complaining.

Kathleen Smith, who was manager of the Maypole Nursing Home, which closed down in 2003, also defended staff for putting resident Leslie Vines into a bucket chair saying it was done for his comfort and not to restrain him.

Mr Vines, a war veteran, died less than ten days after moving into the home in September 2002.

The inquest has previously heard that bucket chairs, which sink into a dip making it very hard for a person to get out of, were taken out of use in care homes in the 1980s.

Mrs Smith said Mr Vines had frequently been aggressive and had on one occasion punched a carer in the eye.

She said the home had a history of complaints and when she had taken over there were patients there whose families frequently complained.

“The home had a history of complaints, complaints complaints,” she said. “I inherited a few residents that were notorious for complaining.”

But she said Mr Vines’ family had thanked her after his death and his wife had even sent a card thanking the home for the care it provided.

Dr Pratury Lakshmi, who owned the nursing home along with her husband Dr Hari Gopal, said she examined the 77-year-old from Shirley at around 10am on the day before he died from pneumonia. She prescribed him antibiotics for a chest infection, but they were not administered until 10pm that night.

“When I heard that he had died the next day, yes I was a bit shocked,” she said. “In that age group they suddenly deteriorate in no time at all. It’s not uncommon.

“I prescribed medication and said he needs to be started on antibiotics. I don’t know how and why it was given to him that late.”

The inquest continues.