Somerset

Highbridge's Mendip House to shut over failings and abuse inquiry

Somerset Court and Mendip House Image copyright Google
Image caption Mendip House is within the grounds of Somerset Court and houses six people with autism and complex needs

A care home that is being investigated by police over allegations of abuse is to shut, its owners have said.

It comes after Mendip House, in Somerset, was branded inadequate after Care Quality Commission inspections.

Staff at the home in Highbridge did not meet the "basic needs" of residents - who have autism - and its failings were "unacceptable", CQC inspectors said.

The National Autistic Society (NAS) announced the closure saying it had "failed badly" its residents.

The charity said police and the county council's safeguarding team are investigating a number of serious allegations of abuse, neglect and the degrading treatment of people.

Avon and Somerset Police it could not comment further on the allegations at this stage.

Chaotic record keeping

NAS provides various day services for the six residents at the home, in the grounds of Somerset Court.

The CQC inspection report found staff had not kept them safe, health plans were poor and people did not have a choice of nutritious meals and drinks.

Overall, inspectors found the home had been poorly managed with chaotic record keeping.

Debbie Ivanova, deputy chief inspector of Adult Social Care at CQC, said: "I am extremely concerned that Mendip House has failed to meet even some of the most basic needs for the people living there.

"These are unacceptable failings and must not be allowed to continue."

'Disciplinary action'

Jane Harris, NAS director, said: "It is evident that the standards in Mendip House had been deteriorating for some time - and we should have picked this up sooner.

"When members of staff separately alerted us and the CQC to unacceptable staff behaviour in May, we immediately made sure our residents were safe, contacted other partners and appointed an independent investigator.

"We are now taking disciplinary action against local management and staff."

She added that while there was no evidence of residents coming to physical harm, people had been put at risk by some staff neglecting their duties and failing to follow procedures.

NAS is now working to find new homes for the residents.

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