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Islington Tribune - by ROISIN GADELRAB
Published: 15 August 2008

Dorothy White pictured with son Peter and his wife Helen
‘Inadequate’ care at home where two bodies were left

Investigation by inspectors found ‘serious deficiencies’ in standards

A PRIVATE care home where elderly people were left lying dead in their beds for days was investigated twice for neglect within seven months of opening, the Tribune can reveal.
Islington Council ordered strict monitoring of Lennox House in Finsbury Park following the probes, which found serious failings in the care of 87-year-old Dorothy White and Winifred Bone, 83.
But although the council knew a complaint by Ms White’s son about the level of care at the home, had been upheld by an independent inspector, the council has continued to place elderly people there.
Lennox House, owned by private company Care UK, has been open for just a year.
The most recent Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) report, which inspects all care homes in England, rated its quality of care as “adequate”.
Relatives of at least four residents have raised concerns about the treatment of elderly people at the home.
Last week, the Tribune revealed that the home’s manager had been suspended after the bodies of at least two residents were left over the weekend before calls were made to remove them.
Now, Care UK has confirmed, the manager has handed in her resignation.
Labour leader Councillor Catherine West has asked CSCI to consider the immediate closure of the home and called for a review of the council’s contract with Care UK.
She said: “Now we know about the complaints we can’t waste any time or put other people at risk.”
An external inspector brought in by the council ruled Ms White, who died in December, was given “inadequate and negligent care” by staff at Lennox House, after complaints from her son Peter White and his wife Helen.
Mr White said his family visited his mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, every day because they “could not trust” the staff.
He said residents were treated in a demeaning manner, with staff referring to napkins as bibs, which the inspector found to be “infantilising”.
According to a report seen by the Tribune, inspector Chris Radford found “serious deficiencies in the care provided by Lennox House” in:
• The implementation of accident procedures;
• A failure to record injuries
• A failure to recognise triggers which should lead to referrals to health professionals:
• A failure to keep the families aware of issues.
In June the council agreed to ask Lennox House management to introduce monthly monitoring of accident reports and record-keeping.
Social services chief Liberal Democrat councillor John Gilbert said: “Government inspectors have rated Lennox House as ‘adequate’. I do not accept that ‘adequate’ is good enough for Islington residents, especially in the light of the serious lapses in care that have occurred recently.”
A Care UK Spokesman said: “Care UK is not aware of any calls for its closure.
“We can confirm a letter of resignation has been received from the suspended manager at the home and an experienced Care UK manager has taken over the running of the home on a day-to-day basis.”
He insisted that residents had come out in support of the home, but added: “We recognise from time to time we need to initiate improvements.”

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