Page last updated at 16:43 GMT, Monday, 7 December 2009

Failings uncovered at care homes

Honeymead care home
Honeymead received a one-star 'adequate' rating from the CQC

New evidence of failings by a major care home provider in Bristol has been uncovered by a BBC investigation.

Resident neglect and a history of staff bullying were found at Mimosa Healthcare's Honeymead. Care failings were found at its Bishopsmead Lodge.

The findings come after concerns were raised about Mimosa's other two Bristol homes, Kingsmead Lodge and Sunnymead Manor, earlier this year.

A spokesman for Mimosa said standards were being improved at all four homes.

He added that Honeymead, in Bedminster, had been re-inspected in October and it received a one-star 'adequate' rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Sunnymead Manor in Southmead was given a zero star 'poor' rating in December 2008 but now has a two-star 'good' rating.

In January, a police investigation into claims of abuse at Kingsmead Lodge in Shirehampton was launched but no arrests were made.

The company admitted that a member of staff had earlier been dismissed "following an investigation into the misappropriating of monies" from donations and legacies.

It also accepted that in the past there had been problems with standards of care and staffing at Bishopsmead Lodge in Bishopsworth but that "significant improvements" had since been made.

Rating 'unacceptable'

Honeymead was given a zero-star 'poor' rating in April, with concerns raised over inadequate standards of care, poor training and lack of staff.

Ian Biggs, CQC's regional director for the South West, said the failings highlighted by the inspection report were "atrocious".

"No-one expects to receive care like that," he added.

A spokesman for Mimosa said the zero rating had been "unacceptable".

He added: "Mimosa will deploy the necessary resources, commitment and investment in this home to ensure that improvements are made quickly and as a consequence the standard of care is of the highest standard that residents and their relatives should expect."

Bristol City Council said in a statement: "Where there are issues in private sector homes which the city council uses, we have inspected and worked with the homes until improvements are made.

"If there are serious concerns we will put a stop to further placements pending improvement and, where appropriate, may transfer residents from them."

The full story was on Inside Out West on BBC One West region on Monday, 7 December.

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