Son’s anger over legal battle with care home

Catterall House Nursing Home
Catterall House Nursing Home

A man whose mother suffered a broken shoulder during an alleged assault and slept in a room covered in mould has been dragged through a six-month court battle by the owner of the care home she was in.

Keith Hume took his 91-year-old mother, Mabel, out of the Catterall House Residential Care Home, in Catterall, last July after making a string of complaints.

Just days later, care home owner Ramesh Gulati made a claim against him for £1,300 to cover the month’s notice which Mr Hume failed to give of his mother’s departure.

He also demanded interest and a £20 “daily rate” which would have been payable from last summer.

However, a court threw out the claim after Dr Gulati failed to turn up.

But as care watchdogs confirmed the care home has now been given a clean bill of health, its owner insisted he was right to chase Mr Hume for the money.

Mr Hume, 60, of Cottam, Preston, said he had been enraged when he received a £1,312 demand through the small claims court to cover a month’s notice he should have given owner Mr Gulati for removing his mother.

The claim was thrown out by a judge at Preston County Court.

Mr Hume said the home had breached an agreement to keep his 91-year-old mother, Mabel, in a “warm, comfortable and safe environment” after she claimed she was assaulted by a fellow resident. The home said no evidence of an assault was found.

Mr Hume also told the court of a catalogue of complaints he had made about the condition of his mother’s room, where mould was found under the carpet.

When contacted later, Dr Gulati said he had been unable to attend the hearing due to an illness in his family and insisted he had tried to strike a deal with Mr Hume to stop the case getting to court.

Mr Hume said: “When I received the court claim form, I was outraged. I could not believe after all my mother had been through he was going to do this.

“But then to string this out for six months, keep it hanging over us and then withdraw at the last minute, I find the whole thing disgusting.”

He said he had taken his mother out of the care home due to “genuine worries about her personal safety.”

Mr Hume added: “I feared for her safety in there.

“When I got the claim because I had not given any notice, I said the home had breached the terms and conditions they had agreed with my mother by failing to provide a warm, comfortable and safe environment.

“The way I see it they breached the contract first, which is why I could not believe it when the claim came through.”

In the claim made by Dr Gulati, he was pursuing Mr Hume for the money for removing his mother “without giving adequate notice.”

Mr Hume said his mother had been attacked in her room in last March by “a much younger physically able female resident.” He added: “We had already had issues with maintenance and conditions, including fungus and mushrooms growing through the carpet.”

Mr Hume said he would be contacting the industry watchdog, the Care Quality Commission, and social services at Lancashire County Council about the incidents involving his mother at the care home.

A spokesman for the CQC confirmed it had raised