'Deep Regret' of the Reprimanded Care Home Bosses; Inspection Found Residents Left without Adequate Hygiene and Nutrition

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Byline: Paul Tully ? 07554 437755 ? paul.tully@ncjmedia.co.uk

AN old people's care home in Northumberland has been reprimanded and ordered to improve after regulators uncovered a catalogue of failures.

Residents at Sunningdale Lodge in Hexham - some with mental health problems - were left without adequate hygiene and nutrition, the Care Quality Commission says.

Moving and handling of the 50 patients to ensure their safety and welfare were not properly carried out by staff.

Care plans for individual residents were not applied as required to fully meet their needs.

And investigators also found that only 10 immersion baths or showers had been provided for 21 of the residents in the first three weeks of October.

One patient at risk of pressure sores was left sitting for long periods without getting help to change position, and others were not given assistance to eat and drink, with no action being taken where malnutrition was suspected.

In addition, staff had not been given clear guidance on how to assist patients to eat and drink, according to the inspectors.

The shortfalls were exposed after an unannounced inspection visit by Care Quality Commission watchdog inspectors in October.

Yesterday Cheshire-based owners Four Seasons Health Care admitted their "deep regret" and pledged that standards were being raised.

A company spokesman said a "new and experienced" home manager and four new care staff had been drafted in, and it was now believed the home was meeting proper standards.

Four Seasons took over the running of Sunningdale Lodge - and nearby Sunningdale House - from failed care home group Southern Cross in November 2011.

The Care Quality Commission, which is carrying out a wide-ranging sweep of UK care homes, issued a formal warning to Four Seasons, warning that they must make "urgent improvements" to standards of care or face further action. …