AN INEXPERIENCED carer subjected a dementia sufferer to an intimate shave instead of a facial one at a heavily-criticised West Fife care home, it has been claimed.

The alleged incident took place over a year ago – when the home was under a different ownership – however a family member has lifted the lid on their experiences of Alexander House in Crossgates after hearing more relatives raise concerns about the facility.

Last month, the Times reported the complaints of two families worried about the treatment of their loved ones at the premises.

One woman said she caught a member of staff at Alexander House "yelling" in the face of her elderly father, who has dementia, and said he had suffered a broken arm, a head injury and damaged ribs because he had been "very badly neglected".

Another relative said that, in one incident, his mother was hurt by a carer and suffered bruising on her legs. On another occasion, her call assistance buzzer was not answered for more than an hour.

Alexander House was one of 12 care homes bought from Kingdom Homes in 2020 by the Holmes Care Group and the latest claims pre-date the takeover.

However, concern has been raised that incidents were still happening a year after she had received promises of improvement.

The concerned relative said: "I was horrified when I read in the Dunfermline Press (our sister title) that not only was neglect and abuse still happening in a care home in Fife but it was the same home where my relatives were victims – Alexander House. Who is accountable for allowing this to happen again in such a short time?"

"No one was listening when I complained. It was appalling what was going on.

"A man who had dementia and was aggressive because he didn't like anyone helping him with personal care. They asked a boy to give him a wet shave and a shower about three days after he had been employed.

"They came back and said you have not shaved him and he said he didn't think he needed a facial shave and had given him an intimate shave. How did he persuade him to do that?

"They lost his clothes, they lost anything that was handed in for Christmas, birthdays, it was Covid time and had to go to quarantine but most of that never got to him. Where did they go? A brand new TV on the wall one day, no-one knows where it is.

"We handed in a new CD player with CDs and that just went missing. His clothes, he had a polo shirt which was all ripped.

"We had got reports that he was being aggressive but now we find out that he hit somebody because they were pulling at him. It was one shift in particular he got aggressive because they were bullying him.

"Finally he was evicted from the home – social work said he was to leave. There was no investigation to what allegations were made.

"When we went to pick him up, he was wearing someone else's clothes. He didn't have his walking stick – the walking stick he had was too small so he nearly fell. He also had his wife's trainers on which were two sizes too small. I had to go and ask them to go and get him a pair of shoes."

After the lady complained, the Care Inspectorate carried out an unannounced visit and and gave the owners two days to make improvements after highlighting "serious concerns about cleanliness".

They found "heavily-stained" cushions and a mattress, insufficient infection control, poorly-trained staff and people being spoken to in an "unacceptable" manner.

"When it came out, the Fife Health Social Partnership and the Care Inspectorate and the home all said, 'Yes this is really bad'.

"This is really terrible and it will never happen again and a year later, it is the same," she added.

Speaking on the latest concerns, a spokesperson for Alexander House said: "The majority of the allegations raised occurred under previous ownership of the care home. When Holmes Care took over management in December 2021, we were shocked to learn about the treatment of this gentleman, and immediately opened an investigation to ascertain how these mistakes were made.

"Since then, we have kept the family fully up to date about the outcome of the investigation.

"In the year since we took over the running of the home, we have identified a number of areas for improvement. With the support of senior leadership, we are working through a detailed action plan which we are confident will ensure the home meets the high standards of care that we pride ourselves on and that residents deserve and expect."

A spokesperson for the Care Inspectorate said: "Concerns have been raised with us about this care service.

"If we uphold complaints we publish the outcomes on our website. Anyone with a concern about a service can contact us on 0345 600 9527."

A spokesperson from Fife Health and Social Care Partnership said: "We do not discuss individuals for reasons of confidentiality. We are continuing to work closely with Alexander House and the Care Inspectorate - as we have done regularly. "