Council advises moving loved ones from under-fire care home firm

Ben King, died at Cawston Park Hospital on July 29 2020

Ben King, died at Cawston Park Hospital on July 29 2020. An inquest into his death made a number of criticisms of the care he received. - Credit: Supplied courtesy of Ben King's family

Council leaders are advising families against keeping loved ones in homes run by the company behind a private hospital where three people died.

At a Norfolk County Council meeting on Monday, questions were raised over how the council would prevent another Cawston Park tragedy.

recent review into the deaths of Ben King, 32, Nicholas Briant, 33, and Joanna Bailey, 36, found a string of failing at the private hospital.

Dereham-based owners Jeesal Group closed the hospital in May after CQC inspectors - who had put it into special measures - said they were "unable to demonstrate improvements."

Cawston Park. Picture: EDP Library/submitted

Cawston Park Hospital closed in May 2021, having been in special measures due to a number of failings since 2019

Bill Borrett, the cabinet member for adult social care said the council would not force people to move from the nine Norfolk homes run by Jeesal, but was damning of the company.

"We have made plain to all of those people who receive services from Jeesal that we would not recommend they continue, given the catastrophic failings in the service at their hospital," Mr Borrett said.

"It is up to the people that receive care to make that decision and I wouldn't want to move somebody from a home where they and their family were satisfied but if they did express an interest that they wanted to move from a Jeesal care home we would help them facilitate that."

Bill Borrett, chairman of Norfolk County Council's adult social care committee. Picture: Matthew Ush

Bill Borrett, chairman of Norfolk County Council's adult social care committee. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher


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In a question for council leader Andrew Proctor, Labour's Emma Corlett asked what he planned to do to ensure the Norfolk Safeguarding Adults’ Board review's recommendations are implemented. 

Mr Proctor said: "We all know this is a very serious situation and a report will be coming to the next health overview and scrutiny committee. 

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"We must make sure that everybody ensures that justice is done and not just say that we've learned from this very sad episode but make sure it doesn't happen again." 

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council - Credit: Norfolk County Council

He outlined three ways lessons will be learned  - internally through committees, a parliamentary debate secured by Jerome Mayhew MP, and government ministers meeting the families.

He added: "Adult social services are making sure all the steps that need to be taken to protect the people in our remit, vulnerable people - adults or children - is being done."

The company had previously said standards of care “declined rapidly” as Covid put a strain on the hospital.

Chief executive Tugay Akman, previously said "apologies must first go to the families" of the patients, as well as promising lessons had been learned and vowing the company would never again run a hospital. 

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