A daughter has complained to the UK’s care regulator after accusing the Carlisle care home where her Covid-19-stricken mum lives of repeatedly ignoring requests for information during the lockdown.

Mum-of-four Jane Richardson, 79, who is suffering from dementia, has lived at Parkfield since February.

But in recent weeks her family, unable to visit her because of the infection control restrictions that apply to all care homes, have been wracked with worry after learning that she has Covid-19.

Mrs Richardson’s daughters Joanne Smith, 56, and Belinda Murray, 45, plan to move their mum to another home after what have been weeks of frustration with how the home has treated them. Matters came to a head when staff failed to take part in a scheduled care review meeting last week with family members and social workers.

“Our mum went into Parkfield in February this year, but before that she was at Abbey Meadows care home in Barrow for 18 months – and they were absolutely amazing,” said Joanne.

“It was like a family home.

“Even members of residents' families were treated like family. We were always made welcome. Even if they were taking our mum to Asda they’d be on the phone. We always felt included in mum’s care.”

Because they live in Carlisle, Joanne and Belinda decided moving Jane to a care home in the city made sense.

After she had settled in to Parkfield, on London Road, and began seeing more of her family, she began to smile again, said Joanne but then the pandemic hit and the family were unable to visit.

That decision came in mid-March, the week before the lockdown began. “It’s been heart-breaking,” said Joanne.

Since then, she and her sister have been repeatedly met with a “non-communicative” attitude by staff at the home, she claimed. She said it was through the relative of another resident who tested positive for Covid-19 that she and Belinda first learned their mum had the virus.

“Nobody ever rings back,” she said.

“I did go up to the home [on May 12] because I was upset and wanted to see our mum. I spoke to the nurse who was on duty. But I haven’t been able to see my mum in person since the middle of March.

“I did see her a week gone last Tuesday by Facetime - and she looked awful.

“She looked gravely ill. But since then, I’ve not had a single call from the home.”

Before her mum went into Parkfield, she spent time with her mother every single day. Joanne and her sister were so infuriated by the home’s approach that they have now formally complained to the Care Quality Commission.

That final straw, she said, was the failure of any member of staff to join the care review meeting last Tuesday. “We haven’t had an explanation of why they didn’t join the [care review] meeting,” she said. “That’s just not acceptable.

Describing her mum, who worked at both McVitie’s in Carlisle and the city’s Cavaghan and Gray factory, Joanne added: “She’s always been a very strong person. Family is everything to her.

“So we need to be a part of her life. We’ll go to the ends of the earth to make sure she gets the care she deserves.” Despite the News & Star twice contacting the home, nobody was available to comment.

A CQC inspection of the home in 2018 rated it good for its care, leadership, and responsiveness, but in need of improvement for safety. Inspectors said the home’s hot water supply was not always reliable and staff appeared not to fully understand temperature monitoring procedures. The inspectors did get positive feedback though.

One relative told them: “They are looked after very well; we have no problems with the home.”

A social-worker they spoke to said, “I have visited the home regularly and have always found the staff to be warm and welcoming.

“I have always found the manager very helpful and accommodating. During times of crisis they have responded quickly and efficiently after being made aware of situations to enable us to achieve the best outcomes for customers.”