‘Social services have questions to answer’

Dorothy Ward.
Dorothy Ward.

The grieving partner of a man who was found dead after going missing from a care home says social services have questions to answer.

The Derbyshire Times has learned that Derbyshire County Council deemed Brookview Nursing Home appropriate to care for tragic 58-year-old Kevin Herbert – whose body was found in a field at the end of last month.

Dorothy Ward, 67, who was Mr Herbert’s partner of 20 years, said: “There are so many questions that need answering.

“I still can’t believe how this was allowed to happen.”

Dad-of-one Mr Herbert, of Emmett Carr Close, Renishaw, suffered from the rare brain disorder progressive supranuclear palsy, which affects balance, vision and speech.

He was admitted into the Dronfield home at the end of December to receive temporary care while Mrs Ward recovered from an operation.

The opening of the inquest into Mr Herbert’s death heard how he was seen on CCTV leaving the home – which police said was not a secure facility – through the fire exit on Wednesday, January 22.

The grandfather’s disappearance sparked a huge police search and his body was found in Coal Aston by a member of the public three days later.

A spokesman for the county council said: “Mr Herbert was assessed for short-term care.

“Brookview Nursing Home, an independent facility which is fully regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), had a place available at short notice over the Christmas period.

“We had no reason to be concerned about the care provided by the home. They assured us that they could meet Mr Herbert’s care needs.”

The care home and county council are supporting police as they investigate the circumstances leading up to Mr Herbert’s disappearance.

The CQC is aware of the incident.

Inspectors from the CQC visited Brookview Nursing Home last April and found “appropriate security measures” were in place.

Mrs Ward paid tribute to former miner Mr Herbert, who lived in Renishaw all his life, saying he “didn’t have a bad bone in his body”.

His funeral is due to take place in Renishaw today (Thursday).