A privately-run Northamptonshire care home that was ordered to close by the Commission for Social Care Inspection will remain open following an appeal.
Active Care Partnership Ltd, part of the Southern Cross Healthcare Group, challenged the order at a care standards tribunal.
Last month, the company was ordered to hand over responsibility for the health and welfare residents at the Alton Centre care home in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire to Northamptonshire Council and primary care trust.
The tribunal last week heard allegations that lack of care had contributed to the deaths of two residents within two months and a third resident with diabetes and a sore had been repeatedly sent to hospital.
CSCI regulation manager Sara Morrison claimed that RL, a multiplesclerosis sufferer, had allegedly choked to death during lunch at the home on 15 July. Morrison said he should have been supervised while eating but this had not happened.
However, Philip Engelman, counsel for Active Care Partnership Ltd, pointed out that the post-mortem on RL had found he had died of natural causes. Morrison said she had not seen the post-mortem report on RL until the tribunal.
Engelman suggested Morrison had made a “knee-jerk reaction” in response to concerns she had heard about a number of Southern Cross homes, of which the Alton Centre home was one.
Another resident, MB, died in the small hours of 6-7 August. The causes of this death were later confirmed as an infection to a wound and pneumonia. The tribunal heard allegations that he had not received medical attention the night he died and that his wound had not been assessed for three weeks leading up to his death.
A third resident, GC, was sent to hospital three times due to alleged poor management of her diabetes and a sore.
The manager of the home was suspended on 7 August and an investigation is underway.
The care standards tribunal ruled that the home should remain open but conditions were placed on its registration including the placement of additional nursing and care staff and frequent inspections by CSCI. No more than 19 residents – the current number – will be allowed to be placed in the home for the next six months without CSCI’s agreement.