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Southern Cross apologises for care home carelessness

Chris Jackson | 09:17 UK time, Monday, 22 November 2010

Armstrong House, Gateshead. One of the Southern Cross care homes featured in the Inside Out programme

When we take the difficult decision to place a loved one in a care home, the one thing we want to know is that they will be safe and well looked after.

Darlington based Southern Cross is the largest care home provider in Britain but an Inside Out investigation being screened November 22 2010 at 7.30pm on BBC1 reveals a catalogue of distressing lapses in care.

  • The dementia unit at Armstrong House in Gateshead deemed by the local council unable to provide safe long term care.

  • An elderly resident sent to hospital by himself and subsequently left to die without his family being properly informed.
  • A poorly treated ulcer which got so bad the resident was caused unecessary pain in the lead up to his death.

  • A member of staff falsifying records to make a resident's care appear better than it was.
  • These were four separate cases in four separate homes in the North East. In the case of Armstrong House suspicious relatives took the distressing decision not to intervene, just to see how bad things would get. Their loved one ended up wearing the same clothes for ten days without being changed.

    Southern Cross has apologised for each of these incidents and says they are unacceptable. The company insists these cases do not represent the care that people can expect in their homes.

    If you want to share you experiences about having to place a relative into a care home then please add your comments to this blog.


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