Minister meets parents amid police probe into care home patient's death

Joanna Bailey and her father Keith

Joanna Bailey and her father Keith - Credit: The Bailey family

A government minister has met with the parents of a Romford woman as police continue to investigate her death.

Care minister Gillian Keegan met the parents of Joanna Bailey on Thursday, December 9.

Joanna, 36, from Collier Row, died in a Norfolk care home in 2018 after suffering a seizure.

The home – Jeesal Cawston Park – has since closed.

In September, Norfolk Constabulary announced that it had reopened an investigation into Joanna’s death.

Joanna, who had learning difficulties and suffered seizures, was moved to Cawston Park in 2016 because experts said it was the nearest facility specialised enough to care for her.

Investigations since her death have found numerous failures.

Her parents Keith and Jean met Mrs Keegan and then with Norfolk MP Jerome Mayhew.

“We were with Gillian Keegan for about an hour and a half, talking about Joanna and her life and what went wrong,” said Mr Bailey.

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“She promised to do all she could to bring these people to justice.”

In September, a serious case review found that despite asking for more activities, Joanna was left “inactive” and “sedentary”, causing her to gain weight, increasing her risk of seizures.

But a breathing machine, which she was supposed to wear in bed to prevent seizures, was hardly ever used.

She was not checked as often on the night of her death as she should have been.

When she was found unresponsive, nobody attempted CPR.

Inspectors later found a “culture” at the facility in which staff slept on the job and “covered up” failures.

The Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board organised for Mrs Keegan to meet the Baileys and others whose loved ones died at Cawston Park.

Chair Heather Roach said: “We welcome Gillian Keegan’s visit and her willingness to meet the families face to face.

"While their conversations must remain private, I hope they underline the importance of learning the lessons of Cawston Park Hospital, and the need to take action at all levels of local and national government following the recommendations of the Safeguarding Adults Review."

Jeesal Akman Care Corporation, which ran the hospital until it shut in May, apologised in September, saying Joanna and others' care was "far below the standards we would have expected".

Additional reporting by Daniel Grimmer

For more, read:

Romford woman's death must end profit-driven care, report finds

Investigation into Collier Row woman's death reopened

'Pathetic' legal system has failed my daughter, says grieving father