Five nurses who worked at a Northampton care home where pensioners lived on porridge and had pressure sores so deep their bones were exposed have been found guilty of misconduct.
The neglect came to light after five elderly people died in just two weeks at the now-closed home, which was in St Matthew’s Parade.
Home manager Phyllis Johnson and nurses Anastacia Madulu, Girlie Franklin, Maria McKenzie, and Mary Ombui had last week been found guilty of failing to provide basic care to 10 residents between them.
Home manager Johnson was also found guilty of failing to report the deaths of three residents to the Care and Quality Commission, failing to provide nutritious meals to residents and failing to ensure her staff were adequately trained.
The five nurses’ careers are now in the hands of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel who today found them all guilty of misconduct and their current fitness to practice impaired.
Five residents aged between 83 and 100 died at the St Matthew’s Parade site, between July 22 and August 6, 2009, after being left malnourished, immobile in bed, and with putrid pressure sores.
NMC panel chairman Michael Cann said: “The panel is of the view that the residents of the home were elderly people, suffering from both mental and physical disabilities and in most cases were also assessed as lacking mental capacity to make decisions regarding their care.
“Those people were unable to care for themselves, extremely vulnerable and completely reliant on the registered nurses at the home.
“A number of residents were found to be suffering from severe grade four pressure sores which had not been correctly treated and which in some cases were so deep that tendons and/or bones were exposed.
“They were malnourished, some were dehydrated and lived in a care home that was described as run-down, filthy, and stocked with faulty or inappropriate equipment,” he said.
The panel has heard that in some cases residents had been fed on a diet consisting of little more than porridge.
Mr Cann said the “appalling condition” of the pensioners was “a direct result of a complete failure of the nursing staff at the home”.
“The panel heard evidence that the pressure sores suffered by the residents were either preventable or should not have progressed to the extreme state had they been provided with adequate care or nourishment,” he added.
Concerns about Parkside House were first raised when an elderly woman was admitted to Northampton General Hospital on July 21, 2009 with severe pressure sores on her heels, exposing her bones and tendons.
She was unresponsive and died the following day, exhibiting signs of dehydration and malnourishment.
Another resident with severe pressure sores died on the same day at the home, while three people were shipped out of the home over fears for their health.
The third vulnerable pensioner died in a community hospital on July 28, while two died in separate care homes on August 4 and 6.
A serious case review into the deaths found the causes were “considered to be consistent with the effects of severe neglect”.
Two other Parkside House nurses, Alice Nojozi and Nobuhle Moyo, were let off with cautions following earlier NMC hearings.
The tribunal continues with the panel set to decide if any or all of the nurses should be struck off the register.