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Daughter makes plea to see terminally ill mum at Inverness care home but operator says she has bullied staff

By Louise Glen

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Juliet Robinson is unable to visit her mother at Highview House care home...Picture: Gary Anthony..
Juliet Robinson is unable to visit her mother at Highview House care home...Picture: Gary Anthony..

THE daughter of a terminally ill woman is demanding to see her mum who she says is "trapped" in an Inverness nursing home.

Juliet Robinson (52) from Clachnaharry said her mum Pamela Robinson (88), who lives in Highview House Care Home, is "very confused" and lonely and just wants to see her daughters as she reaches the final weeks of her life.

However, operators Barchester claim Juliet has been "bullying" towards staff and has "overstayed" on two visits during the lockdown.

The visits were when Mrs Robinson was believed to be in the final hours of her life.

The family pay upwards of £5000 per month for her care.

Mrs Robinson has vascular problems that have severely limited her mobility, and also has dementia.

Juliet, who works part-time for Eden Court and for her own business, said: "My mum is dying, I have received an email from Barchester that states 'do not enter' the home, but my mum is in distress at the end of her life and she needs her family around her.

"So, today I've stood outside the home to show that I want to be inside. I will continue to do that until Barchester agree to let me see my mum."

Juliet, who has power of attorney along with her sister, explained that the family lost their dad very suddenly in a road accident in Dublin, after which Mrs Robinson moved to Inverness to be closer to her two daughters. Mrs Robinson is a prolific artist, whose paintings have been sold all over the world.

"I cannot cope with the thought that one day I will get a call from the home to say 'your mum has died' and we have not seen her, or been with her. It is too painful.

"I think that Barchester simply do not care that the legislation in Scotland has changed and by law we have a right to see our mum in person," she continued. "Our mum needs us, we have disturbing calls with her. She keeps saying that she is still human, and needs us. We need her.

"All we want is at least one visit a week, and yet Barchester have locked the doors and will not let us in. It is emotionally heartbreaking."

A spokesman for Barchester said: “The team at Highview are working tirelessly to protect the residents living there, and while we appreciate that it has been a difficult time for everyone, we really value those relatives and residents that have fully supported what they are trying to do, day in day out.

"Unfortunately in this case the support for protecting all of our residents has not been given and we cannot tolerate any behaviour that puts our residents at risk by a relative visiting the home when they have been asked not to.

"While it has been announced that visiting is allowed at care homes from today there are of course exceptions for those most at risk, and it is subject to a risk assessment being signed off.

"We have been as accommodating as possible but the safety and security of our residents is paramount.

"The home continues to work in partnership with, and have the support of, the Care Inspectorate, the residents GP and Highland Health and Social Care Partnership.

"We know this is a very difficult time for families and the overwhelming majority of people have thought of others before themselves.

"However the individual involved here has not only tried to go against our protocols but has been bullying towards our staff.

"The two visits made to date during lockdown have both been overstayed which has put pressure on the staff at the home.

"The government has been clear on the need to shield the vulnerable, those most at risk from the terrible virulent virus, that is Covid-19.

"We are simply trying to protect lives and do the right thing by our residents.”

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