Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Care home for elderly warned over underage residents

A CARE home for the elderly is facing action for accepting residents as young as 27.

A CARE home for the elderly is facing action for accepting residents as young as 27.

Apple Hill Nursing Home in Henley Road, Hurley, has been told it must apply for a change to its planning conditions.

The home is only allowed to accept patients aged 65 or over but has admitted that half of its 30 residents are below that age.

Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council ordered the home’s owner Henley Healthcare Limited to disclose every resident’s date of birth after being tipped off by a member of the public.

The company admitted that 15 residents were aged 64 or under.

This week, the council said it would consider enforcement action if it did not receive an application from the company within a month.

A spokesman said: “It is not unusual for care homes to accommodate residents with specific needs under the age of 65 but they do need planning permission to do this. Apple Hill Nursing Home does not have this consent.The council raised the issue with Apple Hill and is exploring its legal options should the care home not submit a planning application to rectify the breach.

“The owners have informed the council they will submit an application at the end of April or beginning of May.”

All the underage residents were referred to Apple Hill by local authorities in Buckinghamshire and London but the council spokesman refused to say why the home was taking on younger people.

He said: “People can come into care for a range of issues that result in them being quite vulnerable. Henley Healthcare’s reply to our request showed a range of ages; the youngest was 27. When you are dealing with younger people, it presents a potentially different set of circumstances to the elderly.

“We have told them it is very important to consult the community and the parish council to explain their intentions and ease their concerns.” In 2009, Apple Hill's previous owner Eastwick Holdings applied for permission to house people with learning difficulties at Apple Hill. It wanted to take on patients with a “dual diagnosis”, meaning they also suffer from drug or alcohol addiction.

The borough council refused permission amid opposition spearheaded by Maidenhead MP Theresa May.

In December, inspectors from the Care Quality Commission found Apple Hill needed urgent improvement.They said staff were not keeping proper records of patients’ care plans, including their medication schedules.

A follow-up inspection in January found the home was up to scratch.

A year ago, the Advertising Standard Authority upheld a complaint about the company’s website, which claimed that “Apple Hill Nursing Care is one of the UK’s leading independent providers of mental health treatment”.

The site featured images of young people and made no reference to age limits.

Company director Dr David Irandoust did not respond to a request for comment.

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