Woman, 95, dies after care home assault
PUBLISHED: 11:29 17 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:47 17 February 2020
A woman has died from injuries after being attacked with a walking stick in her bedroom at a care home.
May Miller, 95, was assaulted by a fellow resident just four days after moving into Beech House care home in Halesworth.
After a week in hospital where doctors "did all they could" for her, Mrs Miller died on Sunday morning.
Her family said they "are all in shock", and added Beech House should be "ashamed of her tragic death".
Mrs Miller's granddaughter Bonita Dickman claimed the care home, which gives residential care to 49 clients, "did not do their checks properly", and failed to respond when Mrs Miller called for help.
She said: "My issue is with the home and how long she was left laying there, and that no checks had been done."
The Partnership in Care, who run Beech House alongside five other homes in Suffolk, said an investigation is underway and added they were "shocked and saddened" by the assault.
Mrs Dickman said: "Another resident arrived the day before [Mrs Miller] in the next room and kept popping in to see my nan. She had told us she felt frightened."
The resident, believed to suffer from dementia, assaulted Mrs Miller with a metal walking stick four days later.
"She had been beaten black and blue," Mrs Dickman said. "There was blood everywhere, she was stitched in the skull."
Mrs Miller was hospitalised following the assault, which left her with fluid on her lungs and coughing up blood.
She went on to develop a serious chest infection and was placed in palliative care at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston.
Her granddaughter said: "You expect someone of that age to pass away but under normal circumstances - not through being beaten up."
An investigation into Mrs Miller's death has been launched by Suffolk Police.
Speaking after the assault, The Partnership in Care said: "We are all extremely saddened and shocked by what has occurred, and our heartfelt sympathy goes to all those affected.
"The safety of everyone within our home is of paramount importance to us. Investigations continue to be ongoing and we are supporting the relevant agencies required."
A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: "Officers were called to a business premises in Halesworth on 9 February following reports of an assault, where a woman in her 90s suffered injuries.
"The victim was treated in hospital and sadly died a week later. The death is being treated as unexplained at this stage.
"The cause of death will be established by a Home Office post mortem, which is to be conducted this week."
A spokesperson for the Care and Quality Commission (CQC) said: "CQC is aware of an incident at this service. As an investigation is still under way, we cannot comment further at the moment. All information CQC receives informs our monitoring and inspection programme."