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Family of pensioner Joan George who died in a Bourne nursing home ‘let down’ as nurse struck off by Nursing and Midwifery Council

The family of a pensioner who were lied to about the circumstances of her death say they felt let down by authorities.

Joan George died in 2016 after choking to death on a sandwich at the Abbey Court Care Home, in Bourne, despite efforts of care staff to save her.

At the time her daughter-in-law Mandy George was told by nurse Neil Wright she had died in her bed and been found later.

A whistleblower at the Abbey Court Nursing Home told Joan George's family they had not been told the truth about the 73-year-old's death
A whistleblower at the Abbey Court Nursing Home told Joan George's family they had not been told the truth about the 73-year-old's death

Speaking after the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) misconduct hearing in which Wright was struck off, Mandy said a second incident which he had been involved in would not have happened had they been listened to.

“It’s been a struggle,” she said.

“No-one wanted to listen to us at the outset. We have had to fight longer and harder than we should have.

“If we had been listened to, maybe the incident in 2019 would not have happened; it could have spared another family some concerns.

“That person suffered when they shouldn’t have suffered because he did not do the checks he should have done.”

Despite calls for an investigation from Joan’s family, the NMC originally followed the original findings by the Care Quality Commission that there was no case to answer.

But the NMC got back in touch with the family in 2020 – a year after the falls relating to Wright’s other set of charges which were referred by the home.

“We have continued to try and find out and to get some justice for my mother-in-law,” said Mandy.

“It’s just something we could not really let go of as a family. Everything has dragged on and it hasn’t helped my husband and his sister to really put their grief to bed.”

Mandy, from Deeping St James, said the hearing had finally given the family some sense of closure, almost seven years after Joan died, but doubts as to the circumstances will remain.

“We can finally start to put to bed the grief and the hurt,” Mandy added.

“I’m just pleased he can no longer nurse. We still don’t know why he lied to us.

“I don’t know if he just panicked. Even at the inquest he said he couldn’t remember.

“We will probably never know the truth of what happened that night. Unless the people in that room want to tell us, we will never know.”

Mandy praised the care home whistleblower who first told her of the lies and prompted the family’s long-running investigation.

“She was someone who was close to my mother-in-law and had a lot of time for her,” Mandy said.

“I think she just knew we hadn’t been told the truth and it wasn’t right. We are totally grateful to her. It takes a lot of guts to do something like that.”

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