The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced it is “taking tough action” following a BBC Panorama undercover program earlier this week highlighting care abuse at homes run by Morleigh Group in Cornwall.
A full statement was released by the CQC ahead of the Panorama investigation, which was broadcast on Monday night (21st).
Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said:
“We are taking tough action against the Morleigh Group to protect the people living in four 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.
“We have had serious concerns with the Morleigh Group for some time. We have kept this provider under close scrutiny, responded to issues raised directly with us and have inspected its services 22 times in the last two years.
“Having previously rated all four of its nursing homes as Requires Improvement, we re-inspected its Collamere and Elmsleigh services last month and as soon as the concerns from Panorama were shared with us, we brought forward our planned inspections of its other nursing homes, Clinton House and St Theresa’s.
“In all four nursing homes, we were appalled to have found that the Morleigh Group had allowed the quality of care to decline.
“A rating of Requires Improvement was a clear signal that the provider needed to act. We have also taken enforcement action by issuing warning notices and we raised our concerns with Cornwall Council and with the local clinical commissioning group, which provided support in the homes to help them improve.
“Our objective had been for the Morleigh Group to live up to its responsibility to consistently provide people with safe, high-quality and compassionate care. These are people’s homes and they should be able to experience a good quality of life there.
“A rating of Requires Improvement should send a clear warning to all adult social care providers that they have to act to put things right. If providers do not do what we expect then the impact this has on people will get worse, not better.
“There is no place for poor quality care in this country and I am clear that CQC will continue to use its powers to ensure people experience the good quality care they have every right to expect.”
Following the airing of the program the Morleigh Group issued a stament which said: “The Morleigh Group utterly condemns the actions of inhumane, uncaring and unprofessional individuals in the programme. We apologise unreservedly to all of our residents and their families for the pain and distress suffered following the Panorama programme’s revelations.
We can confirm that dismissals have been made both since and prior to being notified by the producers of the Panorama programme. Furthermore, we are now undertaking careful examination of the footage (seen for the first time by us tonight) as part of further disciplinary proceedings.
The revelations have also caused considerable anger and anguish amongst our 200+ staff – the overwhelming majority of whom are trustworthy and dedicated care professionals. They are currently working around the clock to bring comfort and reassurance to all of our residents at this extremely sensitive time.”