Beds, Herts & Bucks

Luton care home is closed over safety fears

A care home in Bedfordshire has been closed down because of a health watchdog's fears for its residents.

Southern Cross, which ran the Griffin Care Centre in Luton, has moved out the 57 people living there.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) had warned that it would close it if Southern Cross failed to do so.

It had told Southern Cross that residents were at risk, particularly with regard to the way medicines were being administered.

The CQC gave one example when its pharmacy inspector identified that two medications were being given together, which was not in line with the details on the administration sheet and the medication label.

'We apologise'

This was raised with Southern Cross, which was asked to ensure that this practice stopped.

The CQC's regional director, Frances Carey said: "It is a significant concern that during a visit to the home on the morning of 10 January 2011 that CQC had to take direct action to prevent trained staff from administrating these medications at the same time."

The CQC said it had worked closely with Luton Borough Council and NHS Luton to make sure people living at the Griffin care centre were found suitable alternative accommodation.

A spokesman from Southern Cross, which runs 752 homes across the UK, said: "Regrettably, we can confirm that recent CQC inspection visits highlighted concerns regarding the administration of medicines within The Griffin Care Centre.

"We apologise for any concern or distress this may have caused our residents or their families.

"We have robust policies and procedures in place for the storage and administration of medicines."

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