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Friday, 13 February 2015

'No excuse' for neglect inspectors found at Surrey care home

Written by The Press Association

Inspectors who ordered the immediate closure of a private care home observed staff being rough with residents and soiled waste left in open bags, a report has found.

Merok Park in Banstead, Surrey, was rated "inadequate" in every category with those living there deemed to be unsafe.

But the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which released the report, has been criticised for taking so long to publish their early concerns about sister care home Grantley Court in nearby Sutton, as it is believed it could have led to uncovering the problems at Merok Park.

The families of two dementia sufferers who lived in the homes and who died soon after being suddenly removed from them, believe the sudden closures caused them extreme stress and anxiety.

Alfred Dodd, 85, died of pneumonia two days after being evacuated from Merok Park while Winifred Lake, 91, died after being moved from Grantley Court, which is currently the subject of a police investigation into alleged injuries caused to three elderly residents.

Residents of Merok Park were forced to wait for late ambulances in the dark on a bitterly cold evening when the watchdog ordered the immediate closure of the home on December 9.

Today's report found that residents there were "not protected from abuse and avoidable harm as staff were not trained in how to recognise abuse and what they should do if they had any concerns".

Inspectors found the home, which provided care to adults with dementia, brain injuries or mental health disorders, was dirty, with bathrooms not having any handwash and stained toilets and toilet seats.

The smell of urine was overpowering and residents were forced to wash in cold water as no hot water came out of the taps in some rooms.

One cleaner was seen to give a quick rinse to a commode in the basin of a toilet, while they and other staff had not been trained in infection control, the report found.

Staff were also seen to ignore residents in distress during two unannounced inspections and three other visits to the home during November and December.

They also found there were not enough staff on duty, and at times there had been only one nurse to look after 27 people.

Both homes were owned by Soondressen Cooppen and his wife Maleenee.

Simon Bottery, director of policy at charity Independent Age, suggested the CQC should have teams of experienced care managers who could go in and run a home in need of urgent action.

"It's essential we tackle the unacceptable care of the sort that was discovered at Merok Park," he said.

"There is no excuse for the neglect and ill-treatment that residents suffered.

"We want the CQC to review and learn any lessons from its decision to immediately close Merok Park, which caused great distress to the residents."

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