THE family of an 82-year-old woman who died as a result of the neglect she suffered at a former Widnes nursing home, say they are planning to take out a private prosecution for alleged manslaughter against the ex-owners.
Honora Derham died in agony after staff at Norlands Park nursing home failed to notice her body was slowly rotting away after contracting terrible bed sores.
On admission to hospital, a consultant described her condition as the worst he'd seen in 23 years.
Despite her constant pain, the frail OAP, who suffered from Alzheimer's Disease, was only given paracetamol to ease her suffering.
Though Mrs Derham constantly whimpered with pain and her bed sores emitted a sickening stench, staff at the home did not raise the alarm until three days before her death in September 2000.
But by then it was too late and her death was inevitable. Staff at Halton Hospital could do little to treat her condition.
On Friday Cheshire coroner Nicholas Rheinberg ruled that her death by bronchial pneumonia had been caused by the 'gross neglect' she suffered at Norlands Park.
He singled out matron Jane Yelland, who destroyed Mrs Derham's medical records after the pensioner's death, for criticism.
Now her sons, Stephen, Michael and Brendan, are considering taking out a private prosecution against ex-home owner Norman Hurst. They were disgusted to hear Mr Hurst, who ran Norlands Park for three years, still operates a nursing home in Cumbria.
Michael Derham told the Weekly News: 'We were absolutely shocked and sickened by the evidence we heard. We had no idea that our mother had suffered so much during her three months at Norlands Park.
'We were also amazed to hear that the owners and managers of the home had no qualifications, other than a secretarial and computer course. We were also shocked by the way our mother was treated.
'Words cannot describe our anger. We are now looking to take a private prosecution against the owners of the home.
Mr Rheinberg said: 'Doctors were shocked by Mrs Derham's condition. They described it as the worst such case they had ever encountered.
'There was a clear failure at the home to keep proper medical records and take the right course of action. Standards of care were woefully inadequate.'