Man with Huntington’s disease given an hour to leave care home

Jackie Bowes with her husband Andrew and their son, Adam
Jackie Bowes with her husband Andrew and their son, Adam

A DOTING wife claims she was given just an hour’s notice to remove her husband, who suffers from a complex degenerative brain condition, from a St Helens care home.

Jackie Bowes’ husband Andrew, 42, became a resident at Stocks Hall Care Home in Dentons Green in January 2009 – eight years after he was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease, a complex genetic condition which typically causes behaviours to become increasingly challenging over time.

Mrs Bowes accepts that her husband’s condition means he can be disruptive but claims she was given just an hour’s notice that he was being turfed out.

She has now lodged an official complaint.

Mrs Bowes said: “There had been a number of incidents at the home and a series of meetings because my husband was ‘a bit of a handful’. One of the other residents complained about him and the staff decided that they didn’t want him there anymore.

“Reluctantly, after another meeting, I decided it was in my husband’s best interests to find him a new home – even though it meant me having to travel to Liverpool and back to visit him. I asked for two weeks to sort out all the paperwork and to get a family member to help with the move because of the upheaval for my husband.

“But the manager then just telephoned me out of the blue and said there had been an incident in which Andy had been aggressive and told me ‘you have to take him now’. I told her it would be extremely difficult to move him straight away but she insisted.

“I called the PCT to ask for advice because I wasn’t sure the new home could take him straight away and my dad had just suffered a stroke, so it was an incredibly stressful time. Fortunately, the PCT called the new home on my behalf and they were able to take him – we were very lucky.”

Mrs Bowes, 46, of Widnes, added: “It also upset me that the day this all came to a head – March 23 – the staff hadn’t even given my husband any lunch. He was just confined to his room without dinner. And everything had to be done in a rush.

“I feel very strongly about the way my husband was treated and have now lodged an official complaint via the PCT. I’d hate for other people to have to go through the same turmoil as us. My husband always comes first with me.”

A spokesman for Stocks Hall Care Home said: “Due to our duty of confidentiality, we are unable to comment on individual cases. However, formal and official channels are available to families who wish to pursue a grievance.”

l Health chiefs call for more flexibility – page 20