Complaint sparks probe at care home

Hillcroft Nursing Home, Throstle Grove, Slyne wth Hest.
Hillcroft Nursing Home, Throstle Grove, Slyne wth Hest.
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A PRIVATE nursing home is the subject of a police investigation after a complaint was made about the level of care.

Police were called to Hillcroft nursing home in Throstle Grove, Slyne-with-Hest, after a complaint was recorded by Lancashire County Council.

They were later seen taking away computers containing records, and it is believed that six members of staff have been suspended while the investigation is carried out, although no arrests have been made.

The 36-bedroom home is one of six Hillcroft homes owned by local businessmen John Ayrton, David Pinington and Brian Pinington.

They bought the ex-social services home in Slyne in 2007, which they refurbished and extended to comprise three separate units offering nursing care for frail elderly, elderly mentally infirm and challenging behaviour.

In a statement on the Hillcroft website, managing director John Ayrton said they are “committed to quality care for the elderly” with a philosophy “to combine professional excellence with warmth, friendliness and deep concern for the health and welfare of our residents.”

“Hillcroft is privately owned by the three directors whose aim is to give satisfaction and peace of mind,” the statement concludes.

Homes are overseen and inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which last carried out a routine review of compliance in August 2011.

The summary of findings for the essential standards of quality and safety found that Throstle Grove was meeting all the essential standards of quality and safety.

All Hillcroft homes have also been awarded Quality Assurance accreditation, giving formal recognition of the quality of care given to residents.

A police spokesman said: “Lancashire County Council Adult Services Social Care department have made us aware of a complaint they have received about the level of care provided to some residents at a nursing home in north Lancashire and have asked for our assistance.

“Officers have begun making enquiries and we are at the very early stages of an investigation working closely with Lancashire County Council and NHS North Lancashire.”

Lancashire County Council operates as a safeguarding authority over people in care homes in the county.

Steve Gross, Lancashire County Council’s director of commissioning, said: “We are investigating concerns about the quality and standard of care provided to some residents by Hillcroft Nursing Home in Slyne-with-Hest.

“We are working closely with our colleagues in Lancashire Constabulary, the Care Quality Commission and North Lancashire Teaching Primary Care Trust to ensure the concerns are investigated thoroughly.

“In the meantime, our primary concern remains the safety and wellbeing of everyone living at Hillcroft, Slyne.

“Together with our partners in the North Lancashire Teaching Primary Care Trust, we are reviewing the care and support for all of the residents to ensure their needs are being met appropriately.”

Dr Jim Gardner, medical director for NHS Lancashire, said: “We are aware of concerns about the quality and standard of care provided to some residents by Hillcroft Nursing Home in Slyne-with-Hest.

“We are actively working with our colleagues in Lancashire Constabulary, the Care Quality Commission and Lancashire County Council to ensure the safety of the patients that we commission healthcare for.”

No one from Hillcroft Ltd wished to comment on the matter.