A FAMILY has criticised the general care of nurses at hospitals in Hereford and Birmingham which they said meant their relative was left in a "horrendous state."

Herefordshire Coroner's Court heard that Lesley Taft died aged 49 at Stanley House care home in Bosbury on September 17 last year.

She suffered with Huntington's disease, a progressive brain disorder, and had suffered a fall at the home at the beginning of July which resulted in a bleed on the brain.

She was not operated on until the end of July.

Her condition deteriorated further and on September 12 she returned to Stanley House for palliative care.

Initially Mrs Taft was treated at Hereford County Hospital before being transferred to Birmingham Queen Elizabeth for neurological operations.

Her auntie, Susan Taft, said she could not fault Stanley House, and staff from the care home visited her niece in hospital and helped where they could.

But Miss Taft said she was not impressed with the care given by nurses on the general wards at both hospitals.

She said: "Stanley House have been absolutely brilliant. If they hadn't have gone into hospital she would have been in a much worse condition. She wasn't getting the care."

When Mrs Taft was transferred to Birmingham Miss Taft said her niece arrived "in a horrendous state" adding that she was "filthy" and "hungry."

She said: "It took three of the Queen Elizabeth staff to clean her up. We were sat in the waiting room for 45 minutes."

The inquest heard that because of Huntington's disease, Mrs Taft could be stubborn and inpolite and personal care was a challenge. She also had difficulty moving.

Her daughter, Ciara Taft, said: "The way it came across for us was if mum didn't have the disability the treatment she had been given would probably have been different."

Miss Taft also said that they believe if her niece had been operated on sooner she would have still been here.

Georgios Tsermoulas, consultant neurosurgeon at Birmingham, said in a statement to the inquest: "I believe the delay in surgery did not have a negative contribution to the final outcome."

Her cause of death was recorded as a subdural haematoma due to a fall.

Coroner Mark Bricknell said: "This is a difficult situation. I think it is difficult for everybody because of the Huntington's. I accept in terms of the care, that should not have affected the quality of the care."

He recorded an accidental death.