‘Shut Pentland Hill nursing home’ after 4 deaths

Police are investigating four deaths. Pic: Callum Bennetts
Police are investigating four deaths. Pic: Callum Bennetts
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The son of a woman hospitalised after staying at a scandal-hit city nursing home has called for it to be closed down.

Police are investigating the deaths of four residents at the private Pentland Hill nursing home in Corstorphine, which closed to new admissions following a damning Care Inspectorate report in the summer.

Police Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive are now looking into the deaths of three women and a man aged 94, 67, 93 and 75 at the Pentland Hill Nursing Home on July 4, 15 and 17 and September 5.

The Care Inspectorate has also launched an investigation into four separate incidents at the home, which has room for 120 residents.

The probe into the death emerged after resident Beatrice Hunter, 88, was taken into hospital suffering from severe dehydration and a urinary infection.

Her son Alex, 63, of Corstorphine, has now called for the Bupa-run care home to be closed.

“The place should be closed until they have proper staff levels and training in place to ensure the safety of residents. And all of the residents should be moved out at Bupa’s expense until they are put in place.”

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal service said they were studying reports related to the tragedies.

In the report by the standards watchdog, care at the Bupa-run home was found to be “below an acceptable standard and did not ensure that the health and welfare of all

residents was being met”.

In a questionnaire, residents and family members criticised staffing levels, cleanliness of the home and communication.

Labour Lothians MSP and shadow health spokesman Neil Findlay branded the report “horrendous” and expressed concern over the latest development. He said: “Now we find out that the police are investigating four deaths and a number of related complaints. This is a very serious situation, people need to feel confident that their elderly loved ones are being properly cared for when they enter such homes and there are very serious questions to be answered here.”

Bupa voluntarily closed the unit to new admissions, however it is understood that the Care Inspectorate was ready to impose the restriction had the operator not acted on its own.

Mr Hunter, whose mother was a resident at the home, spoke this week about the “disgraceful” care the 88-year-old had received in June. She was admitted to hospital with dehydration after losing weight and developing a bed sore.

An improvement notice, issued in August, made a string of requirements around medication, nutritional care, staff training, monitoring of staff practice, management and care plans.

A Care Inspectorate spokesman said: “We are continuing to support this care home to make the urgent changes we set out in our improvement notice. We are now assessing

the extent to which these requirements have been met.

“At all times, the health, safety and wellbeing of the residents is our top priority, and we continue to work closely with other agencies.”

Vivienne Birch, director of partnerships at Bupa Care Services said that the company was supporting investigations.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive are carrying out a joint initial investigation in relation to four deaths.”