A WATCHDOG has upheld a complaint against a Johnstone care home after a woman who struggled to pay her mum’s fees took her own life.

Carol Docherty, 56, believed she was personally responsible for the payments for care given to 87-year old dementia sufferer Margaret Dickie.

An investigation was launched by the Care Inspectorate after her family lodged a complaint about Lancefield Care Home.

Relatives said no agreement or contract was put in place for Margaret by Lancefield to set out the costs associated with her care.

They also claimed no-one from the home or Renfrewshire Council explained that there were other funding options open to Carol.

Instead, she used her own pension and savings to make an initial payment of £15,000.

The Gazette: Lancefield Care Home has been censured after a complaint was made to the Care InspectorateLancefield Care Home has been censured after a complaint was made to the Care Inspectorate (Image: Newsquest)

However, she was unable to pay an outstanding balance of more than £40,000, which could have come from her mother’s assets.

Tragically, Carol was found dead by husband Gary at their home in Linwood in June last year.

She hadn’t told her family about her worries over the care bills and they only found out after she passed away.

The Care Inspectorate has since upheld the complaint made against Lancefield.

It agreed with the family that Carol was not given enough information.

The watchdog also issued this advice to the home: “To ensure people experiencing care and their family/representatives are clear about the scope of the service being provided, a residency agreement should be issued and signed off with formal consent gained for any supplementary activities that incur a charge.”

The Gazette: Carol DochertyCarol Docherty (Image: Sourced)

It was stated this is in order to comply with a Health and Social Care Standard which outlines that, if a resident is unable to make their own decisions at any time, the views of those who know their wishes should be sought and taken into account.

Margaret moved into the care home in March 2021 after a year-long stay in hospital.

Lancefield then sent Carol weekly invoices for £850.

A spokesperson for the Care Inspectorate said: “We take all concerns raised with us seriously and consider all information given to us carefully.

“We have upheld a complaint in relation to this care service and have published the outcome on our website.”

Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership said it could not comment on individual cases.

Bosses at Lancefield declined to comment.