Nursing Home Faces Assault Probe

A home which provides care for 87 elderly people is under investigation by police over allegations of assault. Two people at the Ringshill Nursing Home in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, were under investigation, police said.

A Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) report in 2006 highlighted problems in care at the home. A spokesman for Four Seasons Health Care said: “Two members of staff have been suspended pending inquiries by the Adult Protection team and the police, with whom we are offering our full co-operation. We have a new manager in place who is working extremely hard to improve standards.”

The company said that the latest inspection report acknowledged that the home was improving and it was confident of continuing to do so.

A 2006 report by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) showed some patients there suffered inadequate care leading to bed sores. A random unannounced inspection 14 July 2006 was carried out by the commission. It found that inadequate care was given to a resident who was assessed to have a high risk of pressure sore development and who had pressure sores on the right and left hips.

However, the report said that following random inspections of the home, health care improved and staff were attending training in specialist health care matters.

A man from Huntingdon whose father-in-law was a patient at Ringshill told BBC News that he and his wife had bad feeling about the way her father was treated there. “We would have liked to see the whole place shut down – a leopard doesn’t change its spots,” he said.

Sheila Scott, from the watchdog the National Care Association said that the commission has wide ranging powers and she was surprised it had not taken action sooner. The regulatory body has the right to enter any care home day or night and it also has the power to go to a magistrates’ court to seek immediate closure, she said.

The CSCI said: “Subsequent to this inspection, fresh allegations were made about poor standards in the home which have been the subject of a multi-agency strategy, involving agencies such as the police, council, PCT and CSCI, under the government’s protection of vulnerable adults guidance. A police investigation is under way at present and when it is concluded CSCI will resume inspections.”