Shropshire Council has been told to apologise for failings in the care of an elderly man who was nicknamed “Mr Dunno” by care home staff due to having dementia.

The man’s daughter complained to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman about a string of concerns relating to her father’s time at a care home between May 6 and June 16 last year.

As well as the cruel nickname, the woman, named in the investigation report as Mrs X, also said that she had found faeces on her father’s toilet during most visits and that his room was too stuffy but the window could not be opened.

She further complained that her father’s teeth were not being brushed and he was given drinks which were too hot despite him not having the capacity to realise.

While the ombudsman upheld some elements of the complaint, it judged that other issues raised did not amount to faults on the part of the council or the home.


The report says Mrs X was told by a staff member that her father’s nickname was “Mr Dunno” as he was unable to answer questions because of his dementia.

It says: “There is nothing to suggest Mrs X ever heard the staff using this name about her father or to him directly.

“Both the council and the care home accept it is totally unacceptable for staff to use nicknames, especially derogatory ones.

“The council says the care home was unable to identify the member of staff who spoke to Mrs X about this matter.

“It also says that the care home is working with its in-house trainer to devise a training programme on professional boundaries and attitudes.”

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The report says records provided by the home showed the man’s room was cleaned on the days Mrs X reported she had found faeces on the toilet.

It says that while this was “unpleasant” for Mrs X, there was “nothing to suggest” her father was left uncleaned for prolonged periods of time.

The ombudsman did however find fault in the fact the man’s bedroom window could not be opened “during his entire stay at the care home”, as the key had been lost after the window was locked due to safety concerns for a previous resident.

A further fault was that there was no evidence the man had been prompted to brush his teeth, despite the fact the need for this was set out in his care plan.

Mrs X also said staff failed to ensure her father was getting enough exercise, causing him to develop a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in his leg, which they then failed to notice.

The report says the man did walk around the home and as he could do this unsupported there was no expectation for detailed records to be kept.

The ombudsman concluded there was no fault in the fact the DVT was not picked up sooner.

When the swelling was brought to the home’s attention by Mrs X, her father was taken to hospital by ambulance without a staff member being sent to accompany him, due to staffing levels. The report says this was in line with the home’s policy and was not a fault.

On two occasions while Mrs X was visiting her father, staff placed drinks in front of him which were too hot. The report says the home accepted this happened and a WhatsApp message was to staff to remind them not to do this.

In its response to the ombudsman, the council acknowledged this was “not a suitable or adequate way to communicate with staff”.

However the ombudsman did not find fault with this element of the complaint as the man did not come to any harm.

When Mrs X asked for the home’s complaints policy, she was not given all the information including how to escalate the complaint to the council and then the ombudsman. The report says this was another fault.

The report concludes: “I have identified fault in five of the issues raised. I am pleased to note the council has made some recommendations to the care home in order to improve the care provided and hopefully prevent similar problems occurring again.”

The ombudsman said the council should provide a written apology to Mrs X and her father.

Shropshire Council has been asked to comment.