SEVENTEEN elderly people have been moved out of an Isle of Wight care home after significant safeguarding concerns were raised by watchdogs.

The Isle of Wight Council said today (Monday) it had 'reluctantly' taken the decision to terminate its contract with Cornelia Heights Care Home in Ryde.

As a result, the council said 17 local authority-funded residents will be moved into alternative accommodation in a carefully managed, safe and respectful way.

A council spokesperson said: "The action follows widespread and significant safeguarding concerns raised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the jointly run council and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Integrated Quality Assurance Team and the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service over the past 12 months.

"The council will be working closely with affected residents and their families to find alternative accommodation as a matter of priority.

"The authority is also offering to help other, self-funding residents at the home who may wish to move."

The council's director of adult social care, Dr Carol Tozer, said: “It is the immediate welfare and safety of the residents that is our foremost priority.

"We have worked intensely with this provider for over a year to support improvement and the provider has not been effective enough in making the very necessary changes during that time.

"The CQC shares our level of concern and have very recently undertaken an inspection which has identified significant concerns.

"The commission has informed the council it will be taking formal enforcement action against the provider.

"We would never, ever, move frail vulnerable people from their care homes without very good cause — but the threshold to do so has been met in this case."

Cornelia Heights is registered to provide care and accommodation for people who require nursing or personal care, including residents with dementia and physical disabilities.

The home was inspected by the CQC in November, 2018, and rated as ‘requires improvement’ overall and in all categories, apart from ‘caring’ which was rated ‘good’.

In February 2019, further concerns were raised by the council’s safeguarding team resulting in the suspension of all council placements at the home.

As the council is not assured about the safety of the residents, it has taken the decision to terminate its contract with the provider.

Cllr Clare Mosdell, cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said: “I am saddened and deeply concerned by the severity of the failings in care that have been identified at Cornelia Heights by council and CCG officers and the CQC.

"These are frail elderly people who should be nurtured in their golden years and provided with the quality of care we would all want for a loved one.

"We must, and will, work calmly and carefully with our health and care partners to ensure we support both the residents and their families at this upsetting time for them all."