Elderly people have been living in “grim, shoddy and unsafe” conditions in four care homes run by a private company in Cornwall, the health and social care watchdog has found.
Residents of the Morleigh Group homes lay in urine-soaked bedclothes, sat in chairs for hours with plates of unfinished food in front of them and waited weeks to receive medical attention, the Care Quality Commission said.
Publishing reports on the four homes on Friday, the CQC said all the homes had been rated inadequate and placed into special measures after separate inspections.
Andrea Sutcliffe, the chief inspector of adult social care, said: “These reports make horrifying reading – people in distress being ignored by staff; a person lying in a urine-soaked bed for two hours; people sat in the same chair all day with uneaten meals in front of them, and no help to eat or drink; someone needing medical attention waiting weeks to be referred to their GP.
“These and so many other examples show why we have rated each of these homes as inadequate and are taking further action to protect the safety and welfare of the people living there.”
Clinton House nursing home, in St Austell, closed earlier this month after an undercover investigation by BBC’s Panorama.
The CQC reports concluded:
Sutcliffe added: “These services were providing grim, shoddy and unsafe care – the sort that no one should ever have to put up with. I am sorry that people have had to endure this poor level of care.”
The CQC said the Morleigh Group, which is family owned, had been supported by Cornwall council and the NHS Kernow clinical commissioning group to make improvements. But it said the company had failed to listen.
CQC inspectors visited Collamere on 10 October in response to concerns about the service. They visited Elmsleigh on 25 October to follow up on improvements required by a previous inspection. Planned inspections of Clinton House and St Theresa’s were brought forward following information received from Panorama.
The BBBC investigation included undercover filming showing one nurse threatening to give morphine to a resident “to shut her up”.
Cornwall council has apologised to residents of the homes and said what had been uncovered by the BBC was “shocking and utterly unacceptable”.
Devon and Cornwall police confirmed it was involved in a multi-agency investigation and no arrests had been made.
Patricia Juleff, owner of the Morleigh Group, apologised for the distress that residents, families and staff had felt. She said: “Over the past few weeks, the group has undertaken a detailed review of our systems. Early in that review, staff numbers were increased in all of our homes and dismissals were made both since and prior to being notified by the producers of the Panorama programme.
“Our review has found inconsistencies in medicine control, maintenance, DBS [disclosure and barring service] checks and staff training that are now being addressed and we are stepping up our efforts and resources across all of those areas to improve the level of our service.”
Via The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/25/watchdog-puts-unsafe-cornwall-care-homes-in-special-measures)