The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) today launched an investigation into the conduct of registered nurses employed at a number of care homes owned by the Castlebeck care home group.
The regulator's investigation follows publication of the Care Quality Commission's (CQC) report into the quality of care at 23 of the 24 care homes in the Castlebeck group. CQC concluded that 11 out of the 23 did not comply with CQC standards. Of those, there were four where CQC had serious concerns and is taking enforcement action.
The CQC report identified a number of serious concerns including poor training, lack of staff, poor care planning, inadequate management of safeguarding incidents, locking doors as a form or restraint, and failure by registered nurses and general practitioners to escalate and take action against poor care.
The NMC is already investigating nurses employed at another Castlebeck home – Winterbourne View in Bristol – which was closed down after scenes of abuse and poor care were secretly filmed and then broadcast by the BBC's Panorama. Two nurses have been suspended from practice and others are being investigated as a result of that incident.
Commenting on the CQC report, Professor Dickon Weir-Hughes, Chief Executive and Registrar of the NMC said:
"It is extremely disturbing to learn that registered healthcare professionals knew about the poor care in these establishments but did absolutely nothing to raise the alarm. Their failure to act is a betrayal of those in their care and of those in the professions who work so hard to deliver a good standard of care to their patients.
"Some registered nurses appear to have forgotten the most basic elements of their professional code of conduct. Nurses and midwives have a professional obligation to challenge poor standards and raise concerns on behalf of those in their care.
"I want to make it clear to every nurse and midwife on the NMC register that doing nothing is not an option. Most staff work hard to deliver the best care that they can. However if they feel that systems, processes and lack of resources may compromise patient care they must raise their concerns. Those who stand by and do nothing can expect to face the full range of regulatory action up to and including removal from the register.
"Two nurses from Winterbourne View were suspended from the register in June following the Panorama film and we are continuing investigations into other nurses who were responsible for professional standards at that home. We will now work closely with our colleagues at the CQC to gather evidence about the role and conduct of registered nurses employed at other Castlebeck establishments."
Niall Dickson, the Chief Executive of the GMC, said:
"We are deeply concerned at the report from the CQC which highlights significant failings at a number of institutions run by the Castlebeck Group. We are working with CQC to establish the role of doctors connected with these services and we will investigate any concerns that doctors may have failed vulnerable patients in their care.
"Patients and their families place a huge amount of trust in doctors and they have a professional duty to report any concerns they have about patients being put at risk. We can and do take action to remove or restrict a doctor's right to practise if there have been serious failures to protect patients."
You are currently leaving the Nursing in Practice site. Are you sure you want to proceed?