A NATIONAL care home boss has apologised at an inquest for failings in the treatment of a diabetic York musician at a North Yorkshire home.

Julie Atherton, director of Care and Quality at Barchester Healthcare, also said a series of measures had been taken to ensure other residents with diabetes did not experience the errors encountered by Bev Jones at Thistle Hill Care Centre in Knaresborough.

She was giving evidence yesterday at the start of a two-day hearing in Harrogate into the death in February 2016 of Mr Jones, 75, of Copmanthorpe, a leading chorister, composer, arranger, teacher and musical director, who sang as a schoolboy at the Queen’s Coronation.

Mr Jones’ widow Lesley told the inquest she visited the home with no prior warning that her husband was very ill and went into his room to find him "virtually comatose". She said: “I thought he was dead.”

Her daughter Adele claimed: “The warning signs were there and were ignored.”

The inquest heard Mr Jones had been found to have very high blood sugar levels on the morning of February 26 but paramedics were not called until after Mrs Jones arrived at 4.30pm. He was taken to Harrogate Hospital where he died on February 28.

Questions were raised at the hearing about the conduct of an agency nurse, Susan Nyakwangwa, who was asked to work at the home on February 26 and first discovered the levels were high.

She said she was "sure" she rang a doctor’s surgery for advice that morning, at the request of another nurse at the home, but the inquest heard that telephone records had shown that no phone call was made from the home to the surgery until 2.04pm.

She also admitted she had not made notes about Mr Jones’ condition during the day, as was required under guidelines.

She also claimed that Mrs Jones had said to her that she did not want her husband to be taken to Harrogate Hospital because she had "issues" with it.

Mrs Jones said this was not true. “I did not have any issues with Harrogate Hospital and never have," she said.

Pathologist Dr Carl Gray, who carried out a post mortem examination, said Mr Jones was found to have been suffering from several serious illnesses, including diabetes, Alzheimer's, pneumonia and vascular disease and it was his personal opinion that he probably would still not have pulled through even if he had been taken to hospital earlier.

Ms Atherton said note keeping at Thistle Hill had been "poor" and steps taken since his death included training for staff about diabetes, adding: “I would apologise to Mrs Jones and her family for deficiencies in his care.”

The inquest continues today.