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Four Cornwall care homes 'shoddy and unsafe'.

Inspection reports on four private care homes, where distressed residents were ignored and left without help to eat, have been described as "horrifying reading.”

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found the homes in Cornwall were providing “grim, shoddy and unsafe care.”

One home, Clinton House, St Austell, has since been closed. The owner of the four homes, the Morleigh Group, Cornwall, said staff had been removed from Clinton House and a thorough review had been carried out.

The CQC inspected four homes, including Clinton House, St Theresa's in Callington; Elmsleigh in Par and Collamere in Lostwithiel. All were rated 'inadequate'.

CQC chief inspector of adult social care, Andrea Sutcliffe, said: "These reports make horrifying reading. People in distress being ignored by staff; a person lying in a urine-soaked bed for two hours; people sat in the same chair all day with uneaten meals in front of them, and no help to eat or drink; someone needing medical attention waiting weeks to be referred to their GP.

"These services were providing grim, shoddy and unsafe care, the sort that no one should ever have to put up with. I am sorry that people have had to endure this poor level of care."

Morleigh Group owner Patricia Juleff, said: "I publicly apologise for the distress that our residents, their families and staff have felt in recent weeks."

She said the group had carried out a detailed review which found inconsistencies in medicine control, maintenance, criminal record checks and staff training which were being addressed.

The local authority apologised to residents of the homes and said what had been uncovered was "shocking and utterly unacceptable".