Ten Patients At Parkside House Nursing Home Were Found To Have Been Neglected
Five nurses that worked at a care home have been found guilty of misconduct at a tribunal led by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
Manager Phyllis Johnson, deputy manager Maria McKenzie and nurses Mary Ombui, Anastacia Maduli and Girlie Franklin were all found to have failed in providing basic levels of care for patients at Parkside House Nursing Home.
Five residents between the ages of 83 and 100 died at the home in summer 2009 after being left with malnourishment, pressure sores and other issues stemming from a lack of mobility, reports the Daily Mail.
The chair of the NMC panel, Michael Cann, said: "The panel is of the view that the residents of the home were elderly people, suffering from both mental and physical disabilities and in most cases were also assessed as lacking mental capacity to make decisions regarding their care.
"Those people were unable to care for themselves, extremely vulnerable and completely reliant on the registered nurses at the home."
While five patients were found to have died directly because of the neglect, others were also discovered to have not been given the basic standards of care expected and this left them with painful pressure sores - often leaving bones and tendons exposed.
Pressure sores are often harmless, but because older people often have weak immune systems caused by secondary conditions, they can result in infections and death.
Ms Johnson, manager of the home, was singled out for particular criticism after she failed to inform the Care Quality Commission of the deaths of three women who suffered from malnourishment.
Neglect remains a relatively common problem throughout care homes in the UK.
Secretary of state for health Jeremy Hunt has called for Britons to change their attitude in regards to care for older people and do more to avoid relying on third party solutions like nursing homes whenever possible.
Mr Hunt's comments came after it emerged there are 800,000 people in the UK who are "chronically lonely".
Expert OpinionTo be found guilty of failing to provide basic levels of care for patients is unacceptable. The report showed that the patients who died suffered both mentally and physically, leaving them unable to make decisions about their own care. <br/> <br/>“Patients with mental health issues are amongst the most vulnerable members of society. Without access to a consistently high standard of care, as seen with this particular case, the consequences can be devastating. <br/> <br/>“We deal with many cases involving vulnerable and elderly people who have suffered as a result of care homes failing to meet recommended regulations and it is vital that lessons are learned to ensure that staff receive the necessary training and support they need to provide a high standard of care." <br/> Lisa Jordan - Partner