Please don’t let anyone else suffer like my son

Dez Watts, with a photograph of his son
Dez Watts, with a photograph of his son
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An angry father says he hopes the care of vulnerable adults will change in the future, after a report revealed serious faults in his son’s care in the period before his death.

Kevin Watts, who had Down’s Syndrome, died in hospital in 2009 after being admitted into hospital on June 1 with infections, dehydration and bed sores.

A Serious Case Review, launched following his death, highlighted failings by several agencies involved in Kevin’s care – including the care home where he lived, Berrywood Lodge, in Northampton.

The Raunds man, who was 52 when he died, had lived with his parents until 1997 before he was admitted to the care home. His father Dez Watts, 77, believes that the system failed his son and now hopes changes will be made to prevent the same mistakes happening again in the future.

He said: “Our aim all along has been to get to the truth and try to ensure other vulnerable adults like Kevin will not have to suffer in the way that he did.”

The report revealed wheelchair assessments carried out by Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust recorded that Kevin had good vision, when he was in fact blind from birth. The report also showed Berrywood Lodge had run for over a year without a manager. It also suggested that there was a lack of communication between all agencies involved in Kevin’s care.

It also stated that although there were failings, changes could not have prevented Mr Watts’ death.

A spokesman for Pathways Care Group, which owns Berrywood Lodge, said improvements had been made, adding: they were committed to “the highest standards of care at all times.”