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'Unsafe' nursing home closed down

A nursing home has been closed at short notice by regulators after finding residents were "at significant risk of harm".

Merok Park Care Home in Surrey, which had passed an inspection in January, was shut yesterday after inspectors last week found it was "dirty" and had an "overpowering" smell of urine, the Care Quality Commission said.

The CQC team found residents being washed in cold water and not being helped to eat, and discovered a lift had been broken for several weeks, leaving some patients unable to get downstairs.

Inspectors also found the home was understaffed, with workers who had not received "relevant training" working up to 60 hours a week, with some having had no criminal record checks, the CQC added.

Adrian Hughes, the CQC's chief inspector of adult social care in the south, said: "We have taken urgent action to remove CQC registration from Merok Park Nursing Home in Banstead, Surrey, because of concerns that the people living there are at significant risk of harm.

"CQC does not take enforcement action lightly given the obvious impact on people who live in nursing and residential care homes, but in this case we - and other agencies locally - felt that the home was unsafe."

Merok Park is run by Soondressen Cooppen and his wife Maleenee, according to the CQC website, which also lists them as running the Faygate House care home in Sutton, south London.

A spokeswoman for the couple said today that they were unavailable to comment.

The latest inspection was carried out between November 28 and December 1.

The home, which had room for 29 patients, passed an inspection in January, carried out after the CQC raised "concerns" during a visit in September last year.

That inspection found that residents were "generally satisfied" and praised staff but said the home "did not have suitable arrangements in place for obtaining consent for people who lacked capacity" and "had not always taken steps to provide care in a home that was adequately maintained in all areas".

Mr Hughes said the CQC had made Mr and Mrs Cooppen aware of its concerns some time ago but "action has not been taken to maintain the safety and welfare of people".

He added: "Taking any decision which causes people to leave their homes is always difficult at any time of year - but it is our view, shared by other agencies, that it was no longer safe for people to remain in Merok Park.

"The level of concerns we had here were rare, and robust action was needed. The local authority are in the process of moving people to other services, and we are continuing to monitor the situation."

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