Nursing home closes after undercover Panorama probe

BBC Panorama

A nursing home in Cornwall has been closed after an undercover investigation revealed signs of poor quality care and neglect.

BBC’s Panorama found evidence that suggested Clinton House in St Austell mismanaged medication and was dismissive of residents’ needs.

An undercover reporter was able to work 14 shifts as a care assistant at the home without her references being taken up and without a criminal records check being completed.

She recorded an out-of-date supplement prescribed for one resident but re-labelled for use by another.

The secret footage shows a nurse announcing her intention to give morphine to a resident “to shut her up”.

It also revealed an elderly resident with severe dementia in a bed with a loose safety rail.

The programme also looked at St Theresa’s in Callington, near Plymouth.

Both homes are owned by the Morleigh Group, which has six homes in total.

According to the BBC, Panorama alerted the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Cornwall Council and NHS Kernow to the results of its investigation three weeks ago and an emergency safeguarding plan is now in place.

The Morleigh Group, which is closing Clinton House, denies that it failed to give proper attention to the quality and safety of residents’
care.

It says it had already dismissed the manager of the home before it became aware of the Panorama investigation.

Cornwall Council has apologised for the standard of care provided by Morleigh Group, saying it has fallen far short of what residents, their relatives and the general public had a right to expect.

The CQC said: “We are taking tough action against the Morleigh Group to protect the people living in four of its nursing homes in Cornwall.

“As soon as the concerns from Panorama were shared with us, we brought forward our inspections of Clinton House and St Theresa’s.”

Panorama: Nursing Homes Undercover will be broadcast on BBC One tonight at 8.30pm.

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