COUNCIL chiefs have vowed not to place any more elderly dementia sufferers in a Winchester home until it makes drastic improvements to the standards of care it provides.

Hampshire County Council says it is now closely monitoring the residential home – where they have already placed 13 people – after it failed a second surprise inspection because of a catalogue of failings.

As revealed by the Hampshire Chronicle yesterday, inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) turned up unannounced at St Cross Grange in Winchester following further complaints about the care of residents.

A scathing report revealed how there were concerns around the deaths of five residents within weeks of each other at the 64-bed home while a total of 14 people ended up hospitalised.

Hampshire police yesterday confirmed they had attended the home following the deaths between February and April, but said that none were being treated as suspicious.

The inspectors also noted fears of malnutrition, dehydration and choking among residents and said they had received claims that people were left unwashed for a week.

Cllr Liz Fairhurst, executive member for adult social care and public health, said standards needed to improve “as a matter of urgency”.

She said: “We are continuing to support the residents in the home, both those funded directly by us and privately-funded, to ensure their wellbeing and let them have continuity of care.

“We are not placing any new residents in the home while we are working with the provider and the CQC to ensure the improvements are made.”

The watchdog issued legal warning notices to owners Greensleeves Homes Trust, who have now installed a new manager at the home in St Cross Road.

Should standards not improve, the commission has the powers to shut down the home, where a bed is said to cost £1,000 a week.

Since the inspection, the Trust said a report on how management plan to bring the home within the law has been submitted to CQC and they were “completely committed to the welfare and well-being of its residents”.