Family of man who burned to death at New Cross care home demand answers

The Manley Court Nursing Centre in New Cross where Cedric Skyers was burned to death. Pic: Bupa UK

The family of an elderly man who burned to death at a Bupa care home in New Cross earlier this month are demanding answers as to how he died.

Cedric Skyers, 69, died on March 13 after his clothes caught fire when he was smoking a cigarette in the garden of the Manley Court Nursing Centre in New Cross.

His  family want to know how this happened to their father, described as being “full of life”.

His son, David Skyers, 37, from Catford issued a statement saying: “I don’t understand how my dad could’ve been left alone in the garden and then a cigarette falls on him and he catches fire.”

He added: “How can he be so badly burned that the doctors couldn’t recognise him from his photo? I just don’t understand how my dad can be in a place where he is meant to be cared for and he burns alive.”

A spokeswoman for Bupa said there was no shortage of staff at the home, where Skyers had been living for nine years. He was not suffering from any mental health issues and had been assessed for smoking risk

A spokesperson for Manley Court said: “This is very distressing for everyone, and we are supporting Mr Skyers’ family, our residents, their relatives and our people in every way we can. Mr Skyers was a wonderful person. He had a real love for poetry and music. He was well known for his writing, and staff at the home often went with him to poetry events in the local area. We will all really miss him, and are setting up a memorial in the grounds for him.”

She added: “We assess all of our residents regularly to ensure that they are safe to live the lifestyle they wish.

Skyers died just three days after celebrating his 69th birthday. An inquest will be held into his death.

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