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Thirsk care home failings revealed.

A coroner has said standards at a North Yorkshire care home where three elderly residents died were well below what was expected.

Three residents of Sowerby House, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, Albert Pooley, 89, James Metcalfe and Harry Kilvington, both 85, died in 2016.

Coroner Michael Oakley concluded the men died from natural causes rather than the poor care they received. The home's owner, Larchwood Care, claimed improvements had been made.

In returning a narrative verdict in each case, the coroner, said the home's manager "fell short of the task" and, as a consequence, so did the staff.

The death's prompted a police investigation and one by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). No criminal charges were filed but Sowerby House was rated "inadequate" following a CQC inspection in October.

The inquest earlier heard how an agency nurse had left her shift early because of her concerns about standards.

She described seeing "hundreds of ants" crawling across a bedside table as a resident ate his breakfast nearby.

Another witness, district nurse Penelope Hutchinson, said when she visited Mr Metcalfe she found him with chapped lips, sitting in his own urine and excrement, having not been checked for four-and-a-half hours.

She told the inquest she cleaned him up and confronted the manager. She said: "I went to see her and said 'This is totally unacceptable, this gentleman deserves basic standards of care, this is somebody's father, somebody's husband'."

A spokesman for owner, Larchwood Care, said: "The national shortage of nurses led to a decision to change the registration and the home now focuses on residential care."

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