Radio Sandwell News

Torment of grandmother in crisis care home

2015-01-21 18:53:01

The horrifying ordeal suffered by a grandmother at a crisis-hit care home was laid bare last night.

Harrowing video footage shows frail 89-year-old Edna Slann reduced to begging for food.

Her face twisted in distress, she pleads: 'I'm starving - they keep you starving in here. I just want a cup of tea. Have you got anything to eat?'

The Mail reported yesterday that a ten-week stay at Grantley Court left her bruised, malnourished and with an infection that doctors say will kill her in weeks.

Edna Slann
Harrowing: In footage taken by her granddaughter, an injured Edna Slann tells of being left thirsty and starving by staff at Grantley Court nursing home

Detectives are probing mysterious injuries suffered by other dementia patients at the nursing home in Sutton, south-west London.

It has now been closed down along with a second home nearby.

Both are owned by multimillionaires Soondressen and Maleenee Cooppen. Asked by the Mail to apologise to relatives last night, Mrs Cooppen, 42, said: 'We are not interested.'

Families reacted to this furiously, threatening legal action. 'It is disgusting,' said Mrs Slann's daughter Linda Cackett. 'Clearly they don't care at all. 

'You can see how desperate my mum was. If I was them I would not be able to sleep at night.'

The footage was taken by Mrs Slann's granddaughter in September.

Edna Slann
Mrs Slann was left needing stitches to the head and with severe bruising across her face while living at the home which was evacuated last year

Grantley Court and Merok Park in Banstead, Surrey were allegedly run 'on a shoestring' by the Cooppens while they are said to have picked up £650,000 a year from each.

Inspectors found an 'overpowering' smell of urine and said patients were forced to wash in cold water. One neighbour told yesterday of years of hearing screaming from one of the homes, as residents pleaded for help.

An 85-year-old man died 48 hours after an emergency evacuation from Merok Park in December but officials have refused to name him.

There are also urgent questions as to why officials did not act sooner. A damning report by watchdogs was not published for eight months, meaning families had no idea their loved ones were suffering.

The Cooppens, who live in a £2.5million home on a gated estate in Cheam, south-west London, have repeatedly refused to answer questions. Parked outside their home yesterday was a fleet of luxury cars worth more than £200,000. Among them were a £70,000 Mercedes S350 saloon, a £50,000 Mercedes CLS350 sports car, a £50,000 BMW X5 4x4 and a £30,000 BMW convertible.

They also own a £500,000 home in Sutton, which they let out. Their eldest child, Davina, a 20-year-old Cambridge University student, had an extravagant 18th birthday party in a luxury resort in their home country of Mauritius two years ago.

Footage from the party shows her arriving in a limousine and drinking champagne with her parents and hundreds of guests.

Edna Slann
Transformation: Mrs Slann, pictured left before entering the care home, and right. Her family said they felt guilty for allowing her to stay in the home

They also have a daughter Melissa, 15, and son Arvin, 16, who uses social media to show off his expensive jewellery. The teenage boy also posts pictures of the family's two racehorses - Destiny's Tale and Prince Paseo - which compete in Mauritius.

In December, shortly after the two care homes were shut down, he wrote of celebrating the 'Perfect Xmas Eve' - sharing a photograph of costly bottles of whisky, vodka, brandy as well as Dom Perignon champagne.

He also posted a picture of his Tag Heuer Carrera and gold Burberry watches.

Mrs Cackett, 54, said: 'I always hoped there was a part of them that cared. Clearly they do not care at all. It is disgusting.

'I don't have a problem with people making money but I do when they do it at the expense of other people.'

Les Shields, 53, from Epsom, whose 78-year-old father was at Merok Park, said of Mr and Mrs Cooppen: 'The governing bodies, the powers that be, let them get away with it.

'If she had criminal proceedings heading to her door I think she would be a lot more bothered by it.'

He said Mr Cooppen, 51, should be held to account for the state of the homes, adding: 'We had a period of time he was just taking money and not providing care - the care that he had been paid to give. In my eyes he should be criminally liable for the condition of the people in there. This was criminal negligence for a long period.'

Less than a year ago, Merok Park and Grantley Court both passed watchdog inspections. At Grantley Court, inspectors raised concerns over training and vetting of staff but this was not published for eight months, in a supposed administrative error.

Merok Park was inspected again in September after concerns were raised by staff.

It was closed suddenly on December 9, with residents left in the freezing cold in their pyjamas. The 85-year-old man died 48 hours later. Winifred Lake, 91, died a fortnight after being evacuated from Grantley Court.

The Home Office is probing whether Merok Park staff were working illegally in the UK.

A Surrey Council spokesman said Mrs Slann was placed in Grantley Court at a time when it had passed its most recent inspection.

A spokesman for the Met Police said that investigations are continuing.

Edna Slann
A resident is stretchered out of the care home after being evacuated in the bitter cold last year

Edna Slann
Merok Park (above) was evacuated last year after Surrey County Council urged an investigation into standards there. It is owned by the same couple in charge of Grantley Court in Sutton, south London

Edna Slann

'They keep you starving in here... just get me out of this place': Grandmother's heartbreaking plea to be fed

Pleading for help, Edna Slann reaches out to her appalled family in desperation.

'I'm starving,' she says. 'I'm bloody starving. Have you got anything to eat here now?'

While dementia has left the 89-year-old muddled in many ways, she is certain about one thing.

'Oh god. I want something to eat,' she begs, in harrowing video footage that shames Britain's care system.

Edna Slann
The 89-year-old was evacuated from Grantley Court in Sutton, south London last year. Her family began filming her on visits over concerns she was being neglected

'They keep you starving in here. This is not me at all. This is not normal, these b******* here are not normal. I just want to get out of this place.'

Mrs Slann, a widow who has dementia and arthritis and needs a wheelchair, was moved in July from a residential home to Grantley Court Nursing Home in Sutton, south-west London.

Her family claims she was neglected from the outset and her health rapidly deteriorated.

Linda Cackett
Outraged: Mrs Slann's daughter Linda Cackett
says she would not have arranged for her
mother to stay in Grantley Court had she been
aware of concerns

They said she lost more than half a stone in two months and is now little over five stone and reliant on morphine to control her pain.

She suffered severe facial bruising and a gash to her head which needed 12 stitches and now has just weeks to live.

Mrs Slann was filmed on September 21 by her granddaughter Becky, after she and her mother Linda Cackett, a book keeper from Epsom in Surrey, became fearful she was being neglected.

In a horrifying video, Mrs Slann can be seen pleading for help, while touching a large cut on her head.

Shaking with desperation and rage, she tells her granddaughter: 'I'm hungry. Have you got anything to eat here now? I'm bloody starving. They keep you bleeding starving in here.'

She can be seen shutting her eyes in despair, while saying: 'Oh god. I want something to eat. I'm angry. Give me something to eat.'

After the food does not come, she is seen lowering her expectations.

'I just want a cup of tea, that’s all I want. Get us a cup of tea.' She is reassured by staff that her food will come in 'just 15 minutes'.

Later, she says: 'Whatever's happened to me? They're making me bloody mad.

'This effing place. It drives me round the bloody bend here. They are all bloody nutcases. I just want to get out of this place.'

After staff discovered a bedsore on her foot, she was taken to hospital. When hospital staff called Grantley Court for an explanation, they were apparently told it was 'not that bad'.

Doctors said the only way to stop the spread would be to amputate her leg, involving serious surgery which would probably kill her.

Mrs Slann, a grandmother-of-one, worked as a cleaner until she was 70. She was a 'lively and happy grandmother', according to her family.

Her daughter said it was 'terrible' to see how she has suffered.

She added: 'It is horrendous to think that she has suffered.

'We filmed her because she kept saying she was hungry. We feel guilty we let her go to Grantley Court. It is hard to talk about but I am speaking out because no one should go through this.'

Mrs Slann's stay at Grantley Court cost £595 a week, which was met by Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

A Surrey Downs CCG spokesman said she was relocated as soon as concerns were raised.

A Surrey council spokesman said when Mrs Slann was placed in Grantley Court the home had passed its most recent inspection.


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