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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 June, 2005, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
Council's concerns over care home
Holly House care home
Holly House recently had its registration cancelled
A council chief has admitted he would not allow one of his relatives into a care home on his own council's list of preferred providers.

Joe Howsam, Director of Social Services for Caerphilly, was referring to the Holly House care home in Fleur-de-Lis near Blackwood.

An MP wants the home shut, citing a "truly appalling" level of care.

The owner of the home has defended its record, saying it was difficult to make some people "100% happy".

Caerphilly social services director Mr Howsam makes his comments on BBC Wales' Week In Week Out programme, which investigates failings in the Holly House care home, which looks after elderly mentally-ill residents.

Albert Davies
Albert Davies died after nine months at Holly House

Last week, Caerphilly MP Wayne David told Parliament that Holly House should be closed.

In Week In Week out the track record of the owner, local GP Dr Prana Das, is examined.

Since the Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales (CSIW) was set up in 2001, six homes have had their registration cancelled for failings in the care provided - three of which have been owned by Dr Das.

Last month, Dr Das appealed the CSIW's latest decision to cancel the home's registration and won it back.

The care standards tribunal said whilst it had been right to cancel registration last year, it would give Dr Das another chance and allow Holly House to remain open.

He was warned it was a "borderline" decision and that improvements had to continue at the home.

Joe Howsam
Joe Howsam said there were concerns about the home

Caerphilly Council funds many of the 26 residents at Holly House and is monitoring the situation for the residents who want to remain at the home.

But Mr Howsam said he still has serious concerns about the home.

He added: "We are advising all prospective residents, carers and advocates of the current situation and it is then their choice because he (Dr Das) is a registered provider of nursing care.

"We can advise that we have concerns but, if in their judgement, that's where they want to go, they can make that choice."

Asked whether he would currently place a loved one in Holly House, Mr Howsam said: "Personally, no."

In the programme, Week In Week Out talks to the families of some of the former residents of Mr Das' homes.

Dr Das
Dr Das said he was proud of the home's work in the community

The family of 92-year-old Albert Davies complained about the care their father received at Holly House.

An investigation was launched by the CSIW after he died and inspectors found he had not received adequate medical treatment during his stay there.

His son Clive Davies, from Neath, said: "The way he suffered - if only we had known, he would have been taken out of there, he deserved better.

"He'd been a good father and he should never have gone though this at the latter end of his life."

Dr Das defends his homes' record in the programme.

He said: "I'm very proud of that we have done a great deal of work in the community and the community is benefiting in terms of jobs, and in terms of care provision.

"The failures you are talking about, no matter how much you do, some people you cannot make 100% happy."

Week In Week Out is broadcast on BBC One Wales at 2235 BST on Tuesday.


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