“One of the police officers was almost crying. They didn’t find it easy. To be honest I think my nan was enjoying the change of scenery, but eventually the police took her back. Then they de-arrested my mum, so we went home and had a strong cup of tea.”
More than 400,000 people live in residential care homes in England and Wales, with a significant number judged to be unable to make decisions about their own care.
Deprivation of liberty (DoL) rules mean these people cannot be taken out of their care homes without permission from a social worker.
Campaign groups including the Relatives and Residents’ Association, have reported a sharp increase in the number of families battling to bring elderly relatives home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ms Ashton said her family had been trying in vain for months to convince the local authority to allow Ms Thornborough to come back home, as well as writing to their local MP, and signing petitions.
“We tried to go through all the official channels. We were concerned about her deterioration, but we got nowhere,” she said.
“My mum is a law-abiding citizen but these rules are so ridiculous.
“The level of fear is meaning that people are losing the ability to think rationally. It’s not just about life, it’s about quality of life and being allowed to spend the time you have left with the people you love.”
Chris Noble, assistant chief constable at Humberside Police said: “We responded to a report of an assault at the care home, who are legally responsible for the woman’s care and were concerned for her wellbeing.
“As was our legal duty, we returned the lady to the home and a 73-year-old woman who was initially arrested was de-arrested and allowed to return home with her daughter.
“These are incredibly difficult circumstances and we sympathise with all families who are in this position.”
A spokesman for Northgate House declined to comment.