Monday 18 December 2017
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Merok Park care home closure prompts Surrey council review

The system for checking adult social care services is under review by Surrey County Council after the closure of a care home.

Twenty-six elderly people were moved from Merok Park last December, after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said they were at significant risk of harm.

The home was dirty and unsafe, and a further visit from the council led to an emergency closure.

Supporting vulnerable people was a "top priority", the council said.

In a report the council said no agencies had any concerns until claims of financial abuse were made.
Smell of urine

Representatives from 12 different organisations would have visited the Banstead home before it closed, but Merok Park had not been of particular concern to them.

The report said problems that had been raised by Surrey Fire and Rescue Service and Surrey County Council had also not been followed up by the home.

Surrey's strategic director for adult social care launched the review of the county's system to ensure care standards.

When the CQC ordered Merok Park's immediate closure last December, inspectors found it was dirty and unsafe with an "overpowering" smell of urine.

Residents were not receiving help to eat and were at high risk of pressure sores.

Some people were unable to get downstairs because of a broken lift, and residents were being washed in cold water because of problems with the hot water system.

In a statement, Surrey County Council said: "Supporting vulnerable people is our top priority.

"As the Care Act has given us a new role to hold a review on cases such as this, we will work with all the agencies involved to ensure the highest standards of care continue to be met."

After residents were moved out, three people died. The coroner was clear the deaths were not attributable to the move, the report said.