Panorama Exposes Poor Care In 2 Cornwall Care Homes

Date Added 23.11.16

On 21st November 2016 BBC Panorama showed several undercover reporters filming the poor care that residents received in two of the Care Homes run by Morleigh Limited in Cornwall.

Undercover footage reveals poor care

Viewers saw distressing scenes involving resident’s calls for help being ignored, requests for people to be taken to the toilet ignored and one resident being left on a bedpan for a period of over 40 minutes. Medication was out of date, left in residents rooms and being used by different residents.

The footage also revealed a lack of kindness and empathy for residents including a lady who required, and paid for, 24 hour care being told off by staff when all she was seeking was comfort and reassurance. The undercover reporter, when sitting with this resident, held her hand and this reassured and calmed her. This lady also had an unexplained significant injury to her leg. The staff did not know how this occurred but thought that she probably got her leg trapped as her bed rail was loose.

The question “How, when this resident has 24 hour care, did staff not know how her injury was sustained?” remains unanswered.

Another resident felt they needed to go to the hospital was given morphine as a “chemical cosh”. Morphine was prescribed for pain relief but clearly the medication was not used for that in this case it was given by the staff nurse in order to prevent that resident from complaining or calling out for more help.

The Care Quality Commission

Andrea Sutcliffe, the Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission (CQC) states “We are taking tough action against the Morleigh Group to protect people living in 4 of its nursing homes in Cornwall.  This follows a significant deterioration in the quality of care it has been providing as uncovered through our most recent inspections”.

However if you look at the CQC inspection reports on their website it is clear that the last time the Clinton House passed an inspection was in November 2012. Since then the Care Home has had unannounced inspections on no less than 3 occasions. Inspections due to people raising concerns but at no point has anything been done apart from the CQC rating the Care Homes as “requiring improvement” and issuing notices requiring the owners to improve the quality of care. Therefore this Care Home has been allowed to continue to fail their residents for over 3 years.

Your Voice Matters is a campaign group working to improve the quality of care in Care Homes, Jenny Moore a Director says:

“Following last night’s Panorama expose on the Morleigh Care Home Group, I have spoken to some of the carers Your Voice Matters have supported over several years. They tell us the programme only touched on the reality they have experienced over many years in the two Care Homes at the centre of this investigation, most of which they say they reported to CQC, just as our organisation have done. Many of us are not shocked by the Panorama Programme, which we feel is representative of many Care Homes across the UK rated Requires Improvement.”

You can find help and advice on the Your Voice Matters website

Veronica Male, a Care Home Abuse and Neglect Specialist lawyer said “When I saw the Panorama programme I found that it accurately reflected the lack of quality care being received by residents in Care Homes around the country that “Require Improvement”.  This is not the worse CQC rating that a Care Home can have. There are Care Homes around the country with even lower standards of care and these are classified as “Inadequate”. The issue we face is that a significant number of Care Homes, within the Adult Social Care Sector are rated as “Requires Improvement” but Councils and Care Commissioning Groups (CCGs) still place people in these Care Homes. However, no organisation, either the Council, CCGs, or the CQC want to take any responsibility for those residents in Care Homes where they are receiving poor quality of care affecting their health and causing distress to them and their families”.

Veronica also says “I have acted for families of residents whose loved one has been neglected and abused in Care Homes. These families have raised complaints with the local safeguarding teams, the commissioners of the service and the Care Home itself. Often the family member is not supported in their complaints and risk being banned from visiting their loved one in the Care Home, or their loved one is given notice to leave by the Care Home.

Attitudes must change towards how people are treated in the Care Homes and Councils, CCGs, and the CQC must take steps to prevent Care Homes continuing to operate when they require improvement as, in this case, over a number of years during which time complaints and safeguarding alerts were raised and not acted upon”.

Veronica has acted and obtained compensation for clients, and their families, in cases where, as a result of poor care they have suffered from pressure sores, dehydration, malnutrition and injuries in Care Homes.

Is this just a problem in Cornwall?

Veronica Male says “The lack of quality care is a national issue. Only a couple of weeks ago it was revealed that over a third of Bupa Care Homes were failing CQC inspections and identified as being either inadequate or requiring improvement. Kingsley Care Home, in Northampton, was closed after concerns were raised by GP’s, the ambulance service and the council over the Care Home leading to the Care Quality Commission undertaking an unannounced inspection”.

Veronica Male specialises in Care Home neglect and abuse legal claims and fights for compensation for clients who have suffered injuries as a result of poor care whilst in a Care Home. If you believe you, or your family, have suffered an injury due to poor care at a Care Home then contact Veronica on 0333 414 9123 or email her at personalinjury@tollers.co.uk

We are not personal injury lawyers by accident.

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