MP to press CQC on ‘failure’ of inspection regime in Cornwall; Morleigh apologise for the “distress to our residents, their families and our staff”



The Morleigh Group, the St Austell based care group at the centre of a national outrage after BBC Panorama’s expose, have released a statement that “utterly condemns the actions of inhumane, uncaring and unprofessional individuals in the Panorama programme”

Patricia Juleff, the owner The Morleigh Group said

“We apologise unreservedly to all of our residents and their families for the pain and distress suffered following the programme’s revelations.

We can confirm that dismissals have been made both since and prior to being notified by the producers of the Panorama programme. Furthermore, we are now undertaking careful examination of the footage as part of further disciplinary proceedings.

The revelations have also caused considerable anger and anguish amongst our 200+ staff – the overwhelming majority of whom are trustworthy and dedicated care professionals.  They are currently working around the clock to bring comfort and reassurance to all of our residents at this extremely sensitive time”

“A clear failure of their inspection process “

Steve Double, MP for St Austell & Newquay, met with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt earlier this week, but after today’s publication of a new report rating three other homes run by the Morleigh Group as inadequate, Steve will be pressing the Care Quality Commission on Monday to explain what he says is a ‘clear failure of their inspection process following shocking revelations about care homes run in mid-Cornwall by the group.

Steve Double met with Jeremy Hunt earlier this week to discuss the revelations

Commenting, Steve said:

“It is deeply shocking that this level of neglect and what can only be described as abuse is going on in all four care homes identified in the Panorama programme and subsequent investigation by Cornwall Council and other stakeholders.”

“The care system in Cornwall is hugely stretched but it is too simplistic to say what has gone on here is just down to a funding problem – plenty of other homes across Cornwall operate under the same funding regime and provide excellent care.”

“Respect and dignity don’t cost anything and I believe the problems here are more down to institutional failings of the management systems in place and some of the staff that are there.”

“I have already met with Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt and will be meeting with the Care Quality Commission on Monday. I want to hear from them as to exactly what has happened here. Earlier CQC reports show a problem has existed here for months, even years, and yet clearly the right action was not taken to stop the neglect and abuse that was going on.”

“Perhaps the CQC’s ‘requires improvement’ grade is too broad and requires more action to be taken when fundamental problems are found. The inspection process has so obviously failed here where 22 investigations took place over the last two years and yet it took Panorama to uncover the abuse that was taking place.”

“I will be asking the CQC serious questions about what went wrong here, clearly the inspection process has failed, that is unacceptable and we need to have an in-depth look at what went wrong and make sure it never happens again.”

“I will be meeting with the Secretary of State again following my meeting with the CQC to continue my discussion with him and ensure lessons are learned.”

Meanwhile, the Morleigh group have released a statement this afternoon via Patricia Juleff, the owner The Morleigh Group.

“As the owner of the Morleigh Group, I would like to publicly apologise for the distress that our residents, their families and our staff have felt in recent weeks.

Over the past few weeks, the Group has undertaken a detailed review of our systems and procedures whilst fully complying with multi-agency investigations. Early in that review, staff numbers were increased in all of our homes and dismissals were made both since and prior to being notified by the producers of the Panorama programme.

Our review has found inconsistencies in medicine control, maintenance, DBS checks and staff training that are now being addressed and we are stepping up our efforts and resources across all of those areas to improve the level of our service.

Turning to this morning’s CQC publications, we are naturally disappointed the regulator has now adjudged the four homes to be ‘Inadequate’, despite 11 of the 20 areas assessed as ‘Requires Improvement’, with many of the findings confirming the areas we have already identified for improvement.

Indeed, the CQC’s most recent inspections prior to Panorama – which took place as recently as this summer – find all four homes to be in the ‘Requires Improvement’ category. Further to which, our homes at Brake Manor in St Austell and Tregertha Court in Looe are currently classed as ‘Good’ and ‘Requires Improvement’ respectively.

In many years in care, I have always acted on the feedback and recommendations from the CQC, with the view of continually improving the service the group provides to the community. I completely disagree with the view of Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, in that we have “allowed” the services to seriously deteriorate. I will continue to focus on making necessary improvements for our residents, and I will allow my legal team to examine that comment in more detail.

Finally, with regard to many counts of intrusion into the homes of our residents this week, I would appeal for this stop immediately to avoid any further distress at this difficult time.

Patricia Juleff, Owner, The Morleigh Group.