A DEMENTIA patient’s coronavirus test was lost and sent abroad, causing distress to the vulnerable elderly man,

Colin Graham, from Rishton, is currently living at Birch Hall Care Home in Darwen, but almost lost his place as it was subject to a negative coronavirus test, which was lost and delayed.

His son, Ken Graham, from Darwen, said the ordeal with testing caused his family a lot of stress.

He said: “In all the time it took, my dad was getting very upset, it was ridiculous how the testing was handled.

“While this was going on we had to get 24-hour care for my dad, which not only confused him, but cost the council a lot of money.”

The whole ordeal left the 77-year-old anxious and upset that he may have done something wrong.

Mr Graham junior said: “My dad was constantly asking about the test and since there were new people coming into his home every day, he was very disorientated.

“It was very distressing for all of us as we took time off work and my dad would not sleep at night.”

Mr Graham’s condition has deteriorated since the lockdown started, giving his son no choice but to apply for a care home space at Birch Hall Care Home.

He said: “We found the Preston drive-thru centre and went on May 2 and they told us we would get the results back in 48 hours.

“I rang the centre when we did not get it after this time," he added

"But they told me to ring the helpdesk, who said I needed to ring 111.”

The care home initially told Mr Graham they could lose their place if they did not get the results back.

Mr Graham then contacted Hyndburn MP Sara Britcliffe, who helped in arranging a home test.

The new test results came a few days later, but they told him the original test had been lost and was sent abroad instead.

A spokesman for Birch Hall Care Home said: “Colin Graham did come from home and as I am aware Ken took Colin to obtain the test from a nearby testing site which resulted in his swab test being lost.

“We would always try to leave bed placements open for new residents as we fully understand the transition into the care home can be a tough one and even tougher at the minute due to the current pandemic and new residents not being able to be settled in by relatives,” the care home spokesman added.