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Coronavirus Kent: Daughter's concerns over death of her Rochester mother

The daughter of a pensioner who died after contracting coronavirus has raised concerns about her care.

Carole Foster passed away last Wednesday in Medway Maritime a day after being admitted.

Carole Foster. Picture: Tracey Bonfield
Carole Foster. Picture: Tracey Bonfield

The 77-year-old was taken by ambulance to the Gillingham hospital from Rochester Care Home.

Her daughter Tracey Bonfield says when she visited, her mother was dirty and wearing somebody's else clothes.

The home, which is in Pattens Lane, has been closed to visitors in line with national guidelines.

Last Friday, before Mrs Foster went to hospital, Tracey says she was called by a staff member and told her mum was unwell.

It was suspected she had a urine infection and a doctor had been called.

Rochester Care Home, Robert Bean Lodge, Pattens Lane, Rochester. Picture: Google
Rochester Care Home, Robert Bean Lodge, Pattens Lane, Rochester. Picture: Google

The Walderslade resident said: "She then said 'I'm going to be really honest. We had residents who went to hospital with Covid-19 and we think she has got it'."

By the Monday, Tracey was informed her mother was very poorly and tests had been carried out in the home, which is run by Agin Care.

A spokesman for the company declined to comment on whether residents had been tested or if any other residents or staff had the illness.

Mrs Foster was confirmed to have it after she'd passed away.

Tracey was allowed to gown up and go and see her mother and now says she thinks she should have been admitted sooner.

Mrs Foster died at Medway Maritime Hospital after it was agreed she would not be put on a ventilator
Mrs Foster died at Medway Maritime Hospital after it was agreed she would not be put on a ventilator

The 53-year-old said: "She went into a coma and I agreed to no ventilator because of her age.

"She was very agitated but she knew I was there. When I moved the covers on her feet, they were filthy.

"Her teeth were brown. She had someone else's night clothing.

"The cough is unbelievable. They put her on full strength oxygen.

"To see someone in that state, coughing and gasping for breath, it's awful."

"The death of any resident in our care home is always a sad time and our heartfelt condolences go out to the family during this difficult time."

In an earlier tribute to her mother, she said: "I was one of the lucky ones, I got to see my mum."

Tracey was satisfied with the care in the months prior to her mother's death but intends to complain to the Care Quality Commission.

Agin Care said it was investigating the complaint and couldn't comment further.

A statement from the company said: "The death of any resident in our care home is always a sad time and our heartfelt condolences go out to the family during this difficult time.

"We are proud of the good reputation Rochester Care Home holds and we continue to put our residents’ care at the centre of everything we do.

"We would like to reassure our residents' families and friends that our management and care teams are taking all necessary steps possible to ensure the safety of all of our residents and staff during the current challenging and unprecedented times.

"Rochester Care Home continues to carefully follow the government and Public Health England guidance on all aspects of care delivery, recommended use of personal and protective equipment and restricted access to the care home in relation to the current pandemic situation."

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