The residence Archbishop Morcillo, closed this Wednesday in Soto del Real (Madrid) for its "deplorable" hygienic and food conditions, has dragged economic problems for a decade. He stopped presenting his accounts at the Mercantile Registry in 2011 and since then he has faced four processes for non-payment.
The establishment, that welcomed 70 elders, has been closed for one year by the Community of Madrid and must pay a fine of 127,000 euros. The Office of the Prosecutor considers asking for penalties for crimes against public health and the integrity of people. The inspectors were found in several recent visits a patent lack of personnel required by law. Ten elders remained in the residence on Thursday afternoon waiting for their relatives or the Community of Madrid to take charge of them.
The economic problems of the center could be the cause of the terrible state of the inmates and the facilities observed by the inspectors. The company saved costs by not having the number of caregivers required by law. The inspectors of the Office of the Prosecutor found on Monday that dozens of elderly people were in a room, only guarded by two caretakers.
However, the inspections of the Community of Madrid in recent years had not found infractions. Since 2016, the Community has carried out ten inspections at the residence but it was only sanctioned in February 2019, according to a spokesperson of the Ministry of Social Policies and Family. The sanction for 24,204 euros was imposed due to deficiencies in maintenance and cleaning (bed linen, furniture), menus without supervision by qualified personnel and personal files and records and incidences books not filled in or not updated.
This sanction was unknown by the relatives, who ignore relevant information about the residences in the Community of Madrid. Infractions are not published because the regional government understands that the "good business name" of the company should prevail. So he told this newspaper in a response in June to a request for residential sanctions in the last five years, made through the Transparency Law. EL PAÍS has appealed that decision through the Transparency Council.
The Ombudsman announced on Thursday that he has made that same request to the Community. In his writing he recalls the special vulnerability of the elderly group and highlights the importance of the control of nursing homes.
Auction of goods
The residence of Soto del Real, a public limited company founded in 2000 by the Peñas Briones family, has never entered bankruptcy proceedings in spite of its debts. A declaration of this type would have probably meant its closure, according to tax experts consulted by this newspaper. That is why the people in charge of the residence opted for years to resolve their debts individually.
In 2014, assets worth 442,500 euros were auctioned to pay a loan from Deutsche Bank. In 2016 and 2017 there were two court proceedings to pay workers and an administrative claim from the Social Security that involved another auction, for 5,500 euros. The Peñas Briones brothers did not want to make statements to this newspaper.
Executions for debt collection and the fact that it did not present accounts for so many years are symptoms of a serious economic situation, according to José María Molinero, general secretary of the finance technicians union. The company already had liquidity problems in 2009 and 2010, according to its last year published in the Registry. "It seems that in their flight forward looking to postpone the death of the company," says this expert.
The ten elders who this Thursday afternoon had not yet been relocated were faced with different situations. Some, according to the family members, were waiting for the SUMMA to be evaluated. Other elders are waiting to be interned in centers of the Community of Madrid.
The sick mother of Jorge Gómez Alzheimer's was picked up by an ambulance to be taken to a public residence. "I can not take her home, we had problems because she attacked our children and we had to intern her," she said. So far, it is the only inmate received by the Community, which has extended the deadline to relocate until Saturday. Initially it was reported that the closure should be made in 48 hours.
Relatives have complained about the response from the Community of Madrid, which had promised assistance. Some say that this help was limited to receiving a list of alternative centers by email. The Community ensures that the communication has been fast and by telephone. "We have called everyone, and those who did not have the possibility to place their relatives will be offered a place of emergency," says a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Social Policy and Family.
Shortly before 21 a doctor and an ATS from the Soto del Real health center entered to check the elderly people who were still in residence. There are 13 and there were three employees of the center working. Manuel came at the last minute to collect some papers and belongings from his aunt, one of the three admitted to the La Paz hospital on Monday after the inspection of the facilities.
The man denounces that the old woman, transferred this Thursday to the Cantoblanco Hospital, was not well cared for. "She was dehydrated, she had a lack of oxygen, they did not give her the medication, she had an oral infection ...", she says. "She can not move and had a gap in her head, I do not know how she could fall," says Manuel, who also claims that she lacked minimal hygiene. "I had eschar. They did not clean it or clean it well. He was all day with the diaper and if he did not clean it, he would get wounds. When they cleaned her in the hospital, she changed color, "says Manuel, who lives in Soto del Real and is waiting to coordinate with the community to see what they do with their aunt. What was certain was that he would not step on the residence of Archbishop Morcillo. "The Office of the Prosecutor issued an order to the hospital so that they would not refer her back to the house to discharge her," she reveals.
F. Javier Barroso
The son of an inmate of the residence Arzobispo Morcillo of Soto del Real (Madrid) already denounced in 2007 the problems that the center had, as a result of a pneumonia that contracted his mother and that caused the death to him in a matter of days by a septicemia widespread, according to the document to which the country has had access. The Court of First Instance and Instruction Number 1 of Colmenar Viejo admitted the complaint and subsequently ordered the provisional dismissal.
Emilio M-S. He filed the complaint on November 2 three days before his mother died in Cantoblanco hospital, which was moved after detecting "pneumonia, dehydration and kidney failure," according to the complaint. Doctors at La Paz Hospital confirmed that the lung infection had passed into the blood, causing widespread and fatal septicemia.
The family member states in his letter that when his sister visited her mother, she found her dressed in summer clothes despite being on October 13 and being in a place that was cold. "He was prone to cooling and for that reason it was very dangerous, given his age and his state of complete helplessness (he suffered Alzheimer's in advanced state). She could not say I'm cold or I feel sick, but the residence service had not noticed the situation, "says the complaint. Emilio notes that the woman was "stunned by the cold" and that this could be the trigger of pneumonia.
The woman remained two days in critical condition at the residence, according to the medical report. "We do not know that the causes of a symptom, unprecedented, as significant as respiratory distress with artificial oxygen need to be investigated with means and rigor". In fact, the familiar doubt that in just two days could evolve "an incipient pneumonia" to the complex picture diagnosed on 19 at the hospital La Paz.
A nurse from the residence Arzobispo Morcillo called Emilio by telephone that day and told her at one o'clock in the afternoon that her mother was being transferred to the La Paz hospital in the capital.
The son of the deceased went to the residence to ask for the patient's medical history and a man who introduced himself as the owner (allegedly Braulio Peñas Briones) told him that in the week of October 14 to 20, 2007, the center's doctor He was on vacation, just when the events unfolded. And this, despite the fact that the residence was obliged to have a permanent doctor at the center, according to the court document.
The family member asked the court of inquiry to investigate the possible negligence and the alleged "lack of necessary and required medical attention." "In view of what happened, this assistance should have been provided necessarily and with sufficient anticipation to address or at least alleviate the resulting fraudulent and deadly damages," the complainant maintained.
The court instructed the case and after months he shelved it before the palpable lack of an intentional or reckless crime. "If a thorough investigation had been made in detail, we might not have finished with this serious situation," say sources close to the complainant. "What you have to do now is to close the residence at once and throw them into the street so that there are no more cases of this type," they add.
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