Exclusive: ‘I had to blow the whistle on care home’

Jamie McKnight.
Jamie McKnight.

A man has spoken exclusively to the Reporter after he blew the whistle on poor standards at a Dewsbury care home.

Carer Jamie McKnight called the Care Quality Commission (CQC) when his concerns about Manorcroft were ignored by senior managers.

After starting work there in April, Mr McKnight said he became increasingly concerned about staffing, residents being left in bed for days at a time and a lack of respect by staff.

“It got to a point where the home was understaffed all the time,” he said. “People weren’t getting out of bed.

“They only had one hoist for 40 residents – lots of them were getting pressure sores from being in bed all the time.

“I wouldn’t like it if my mum was in that home in those conditions.”

Mr McKnight rang the CQC in September, told an inspector of his concerns, and a inspection was carried out the next day.

A report published last month found the home in Old Bank Road had failed on four out of five categories.

It was banned from taking in new residents as a result.

Silverline Care is the registered provider for Manorcroft, but it discharged the day-to-day running to Orchard Care Homes.

The structure is the same at Newlands Hall in Heckmondwike, which also faced enforcement action after a September inspection.

Two Orchard homes in Kent were recently forced to close after damning CQC inspections.

Mr Mcknight regularly worked 50 hour weeks at Manorcroft but also did shifts at Newlands Hall.

He said: “IIt seems to me they don’t care who comes in as long as the rooms are full. There’s no dignity there, no time to speak to residents, they are just left in their rooms to watch telly.”

A room in Manorcroft costs at least £700 per week including nursing fees. Many residents have dementia or are at the end of life.

“Sometimes there were three carers a night for 40 residents,” added Mr McKnight.

“People can be sat soiled over lunchtime because there’s not enough staff to do it. They’re eating their dinner but sat in their own urine, it’s really not fair.”

Mr McKnight said he felt forced to leave after facing disciplinary action over allegations he still disputes.

He now faces an investigation by the Disclosure and Barring Service, which could ban him from working with vulnerable adults.

But he is confident that there is no case to answer.

“It’s disgusting,” he said. “I would never hurt anybody in my life – I’ve got nothing to hide.”

Manorcroft have also banned him from attending funerals of residents, many of whom he formed deep connections with.

A spokeswoman for Orchard Care Homes said: “We can confirm that Jamie McKnight was employed as a care assistant at Manorcroft from April 2014 until October 2014.

“He resigned whilst subject to an internal investigation at which he failed to cooperate. This has since been referred to the Independent Safeguarding Authority.”

Mr McKnight said: “I had to jump before I was pushed, they didn’t like my views.

“I’m not doing this to get at the home. I look at it as though I’ve got a duty of care. I need to let other people know what’s going on in these homes.”