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Elderly 'suffered severe neglect'

Five elderly care home residents who died within two weeks of each other suffered "severe neglect", an official inquiry has concluded.

The residents of Parkside House Nursing Home in Northampton died between July 22 and August 6, 2009.

A Serious Case Review into the deaths has found standards at the home had declined since previous inspections.

It said by July 2009 the home, set up for people over 65 suffering from dementia or long-standing mental illness, was unable to deal with residents with additional needs and "simply could not manage".

A serious case review was carried out by the Northamptonshire Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults Board after the deaths of the five residents, aged between 83 and 100.

Concerns were sparked after an elderly woman from the home was admitted to Northampton General Hospital on July 21 last year with severe pressure sores.

She was described as unresponsive and dehydrated and was considered by hospital staff to be consistent with "severe neglect". She died the following day.

Another resident, also found to have similar pressure sores, died on the same day at the home.

On July 24 last year, three residents were moved out of the home urgently amid fears for their health.

Work at Parkside House by health and social care staff highlighted "grave concerns about the standard of care being provided" and the rest of the residents were moved from Parkside on or just after July 31, and its registration was later cancelled.