A dementia patient was evicted from a nursing home amid the coronavirus pandemic following a dispute over socially distant visits.
Valerie Boxford, 81, received notification from Forest Manor, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Notts, after her daughter Emma Knaggs repeatedly requested weekly visits despite being blocked.
Emma also posted comments on Facebook deemed derogatory and filed complaints with CQC and Nottinghamshire County Council.
The affected daughter, herself a health assistant, insists she noticed from video calls and photos sent by house staff that her mother appeared to be rapidly “deteriorating,” including allegedly becoming non-verbal and unable to feed.
In five emails sent out in four months since April – and viewed by Mirror Online – Ms. Knaggs has requested five-minute visits outside her mother’s window to help “give her a push.”
These demands were firmly denied that the house would not violate government and local authority guidelines, while Ms. Knaggs was also accused of making “derogatory” remarks about the house on Facebook in a letter from the house.
However, he claims that he was simply venting his frustrations and never actually identified the house specifically.
Ms. Knaggs, who visited her mother almost every day before the pandemic to help her eat her evening meals, initially emailed the house on April 3 asking for a window visit with Britain that had been closed. on March 23.
With this denied, Emma claims she kept phoning home every day to check on her mother before becoming increasingly concerned when she heard a resident had been taken to hospital with Covid-19.
On May 15, she then sent an email again, requesting a window visit because her mother tested negative and was told four days later that “the rules haven’t changed”.
“I kept doing one video call a week, whenever my mom was waning,” she told Mirror Online.
After a particularly “distressing” video call in which Ms. Knaggs said she had to hang up early “because I was so angry” to see how “fragile” her mother was, she sent an email again on June 23 before receiving a letter stating that Ms. Boxford was “In good health” and her condition being closely monitored.
He said the letter “also seemed to threaten me with the comments I had made on Facebook.”
“All I was putting on Facebook was that I don’t understand how other nursing homes are open [for garden visits] but my mother won’t, “he continued.
“I never called the nursing home, I never called the staff.”
The letter from the house states in relation to the posts: “I urge you to stop otherwise I will have no alternative but to take further action”.
Ms. Knaggs then sent another email saying she “would like to work with [the home] to find a safe way to make garden visits using social distance ”- but he never got an answer.
Instead, he received a phone call on July 1 and in his words the house was told “he had no alternative but to give my mom a notice because of my comments on Facebook and because I kept asking her to see her.”
“To evict a vulnerable woman, during a pandemic, when you can’t even evict tenants from building associations or the municipality [housing], I couldn’t believe it, “he explained.
“In my opinion [they] I just wanted to get rid of me because I am my mother’s voice.
“I understand they have guidelines to follow, but I was asking for a window visit a week for five minutes, I don’t think that was too much to ask.”
Ms. Boxford was diagnosed with vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s five years ago and moved to Forest Manor in 2018.
Within days of the month’s notice, Ms. Knaggs said she was able to take her mother to a new home where garden visits are allowed.
Asked how she and her mother will fare if Britain enters a second full block, Ms. Knaggs added: “My mother won’t survive another block and Covid won’t kill her, it will be loneliness.”
Jayne Connery, founder of the Care Campaign for the Vulnerable, said the group is receiving an “unprecedented amount of correspondence that raises serious concerns from both caregivers and families” across the UK.
“While we are aware that many suppliers are thankfully exercising compassion for visits and understanding the important need to maintain family contact with a full risk assessment, it is clear that a minority are ‘closing the shop’.”
A spokesperson for Asha Healthcare – which runs Forest Manor – said, among other things, that she had dealt with three “groundless” complaints to CQC and Nottinghamshire County Council made by Ms Knaggs and had no choice but to undertake a drastic action.
“Unfortunately, for the first time in our 19-year history of our nursing home business, we have no choice left but to notify a resident.
“The decision to notify Mrs. Boxford was not taken lightly.
“There was a catalog of events that led to a major disruption of the relationship between Ms. Knaggs and our nursing home and that ultimately impacted our ability to function effectively during what proved to be the most difficult time. never faced by the care sector as a result of the global pandemic “.
They went on to say, “Ms. Knaggs failed to come to terms with the fact that we had closed our nursing homes to non-essential visitors in early March 2020 due to the global pandemic and the immediate risk it posed to our vulnerable residents living in our nursing homes, most of whom live with acute health conditions and are considered to be at high risk in terms of contracting Covid-19. “
The spokesperson said Ms. Knaggs “called the nursing home every day asking for the lockdown to be lifted or for measures to be put in place to allow her to visit her mother through a window.”
Staff members explained that the building did not lend itself to meeting that request, that safeguarding was the priority, and until guidelines from health authorities indicated otherwise, the blockade would “remain in effect,” they said. .
She added that the house has supported Ms. Boxford’s transition into her new home and wishes her all the best.