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Care Homes : Providers / Agencies : Sector News / Closures / Scandals / Police Investigations - Page 12 - Carers UK Forum

Care Homes : Providers / Agencies : Sector News / Closures / Scandals / Police Investigations

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
124 posts
I believe that the underlying problem is the lack of properly trained LEARNING DISABILITY NURSES. My son has severe learning difficulties, fortunately he's really good tempered, but I cannot EVER remember meeting an LD trained nurse. Even the social workers in the LD Team seem to be really ignorant about what brain damaged means.

Just because he can keep his flat tidy and use a washing machine doesn't mean he will speak up for himself, or can cross the road, read, write or do any maths.
He saw a chiropodist on Friday, but yesterday he told me it hurt between his toes. Did he tell the chiropodist? No. Did the chiropodist notice? No!
I want to see more physical disability training.

If my son ever needs a care home, I need the nurses to treat him with dignity. My son has a physical impairment. Even when we were in hospital, I do not remember ever meeting a nurse who knew what spina bifida was. Even though he is a full time wheelchair user, please do not assume he is hard of hearing or worse with a cognitive impairment. People seem unable to tell me what spina bifida is when I ask them.

We met a lady today at the leisure centre. She and I chatted for a bit. She also has a daughter with closed SB. That was music to my soul, seriously!
Care home lacked staff to meet " Basic needs ", inspection report finds.

A care home without enough staff to look after its residents has remained in special measures after an inspection saw it branded inadequate and unsafe.


The Windmill Care Home in Great Yarmouth was visited by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors in May.

And a report published earlier this month revealed the home, which was providing care for 19 people at the time of the visit:

- Lacked enough staff to meet residents needs ;

- Left residents waiting up to 90 minutes for drinks ;

- Had records of residents falling from wheelchairs.

The home, on Main Road, in Rollesby, was last inspected in November last year, when it was placed into special measures after receiving an inadequate rating for being in breach of "multiple regulations".

And following this year's inspection, the commission found: "The provider completed an action plan after the last inspection to show what they would do and by when to improve.

"At this inspection enough, improvement had not been made and the provider was still in breach of regulations."

The service remained in special measures and was again rated inadequate overall, in addition to inadequate for safety, responsiveness and leadership.

The home was also given ratings of requires improvement for effectiveness and care.

Inspectors said: "People waited too long to receive the support they needed to keep them safe due to a lack of available staff.

"One person told us, 'Not much to drink here, only two cups a day if you're lucky, three sometimes.'"

And the report also said: "There remained to be not enough staff employed to meet people's needs.

"Drinks were often not provided routinely throughout the day as staff were too busy attending to people's other support needs.

"We saw one person ask for a drink and 45 minutes later they asked again. We did not see them get a drink until lunchtime - 90 minutes after first asking.

"People's basic needs were not always being met.

"Since the start of 2019 there were seven records to show people had fallen from wheelchairs."

A spokesperson for the home said: "We are working closely with the CQC and Norfolk County Council to make further improvements at the home. We have also had an independent consultant in place since February 2019."
£95,000-a-year ‘care home of horrors’ where one child ate 122 chicken nuggets in a WEEK and another was found covered in faeces is closed.

Orbis Abbey Rose is a residential kid's home in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

Those living with autism and learning difficulties live there year round.

A damning report from Ofsted has forced the care facility to close temporarily.

They discovered uncleanliness, excessive junk food and allegations of assault.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... -week.html

The Orbis Abbey Rose Schol in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire had its first Ofsted inspection between November 5-7 and was branded 'inadequate' in every area.

The school, which opened in March, charges local authorities between £70,000 and £95,000-a year for educating children on the autism spectrum aged between eight and 19.

It should start with knowledgeable social workers. I'm fed up with explaining why my son can do some things at 3 year old level, some normally, because he was brain damaged at birth! How can they commission proper services if they don't understand the basics???
Care home closed after fifth rating of inadequate from inspectors.


A care home has closed after a fifth successive "inadequate" rating from the independent body that sets and monitors standards.

Clarence Lodge, on Clarence Road in Gorleston, was placed in the worst possible category by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after a visit by inspectors in October, when it was home to 11 older people, some of whom were living with dementia.

Prior to the service's closure, Great Yarmouth Borough Council moved all the residents to alternative accommodation.

The home had been warned after previous inspections it could face enforcement action if it failed to make improvements but a CQC report published on December 12 found little progress had been made.

The report also stated the provider remained in breach of six regulations, as well as two new breaches in relation to reporting procedures and safeguarding people from the risk of abuse.

Inspectors said they still had concerns about safe care and treatment, governance, nutrition and hydration.

"The service was not managing actual and potential risks to people robustly," the report said.

"This related to risks associated with prevention of urinary tract infections, constipation, monitoring of blood pressures, environmental risks affecting residents, and physical altercations between residents."

There were also concerns about recruitment and staffing, with the report stating there were not always sufficient staff with suitable skills, knowledge and experience.

The service was ranked as "inadequate" in three categories and "requires improvement" in one, leading to another overall rating of "inadequate".

Records from the home showed that one person, who had periods of confusion and distress, had got stuck between floors when using the passenger lift. This was a significant risk which had not been assessed despite two incidents occurring, inspectors said.

The report also said a district nurse had advised that one person should have their blood pressure monitored at least weekly but the home's records showed this had not occurred.

Another reason for its rating was the manager had failed to report three incidents. Clarence Lodge was contacted for comment.
Stained mattress covers and " Strong smell " of urine found at care home.

Mattress covers stained with urine were found at a dementia care home which has been slammed by inspectors.


Standards at St George's Care Home, in Beccles, have fallen since being rated as requiring improvement in February, inspectors said, with the Care Quality Commission rating the service as inadequate.

An "unpleasant odour of urine" was found throughout the home, while four mattress covers "were stained with a substance whose odour and appearance was consistent with urine," the report states. A "brown substance" was found on another cover, while an audit carried out by the manager later found a further 23 mattress covers were stained.

The home was rated inadequate in 'safety', 'caring' and 'well-led' categories after "significant shortfalls", as well as being rated as requiring improvement for effectiveness and responsiveness.

Inspectors, who visited unannounced three times in October and November, found a spate of chest infections and cold among the home's 24 residents.

he report states: "We observed staff displaying poor infection control practice, such as not wearing gloves or washing their hands after providing support to people coughing or blowing their nose.

"Staff were laying tables with cutlery for the afternoon meal while people were still seated having breakfast and coughing next to the cutlery.

"An uncovered plate of snacks was on a table in the lounge which people were seated around coughing."

The report criticised the cleanliness of the home, with spills of food and fluid on tables and chairs and crumbs and other food left on the floor throughout the inspection.

Inspectors also found staff to be disorganised, with some residents left in communal areas for extended periods of time with no staff present.

The report also states: "People's dignity was not always upheld by staff who were not discreet when providing people with support and the actions of staff were not always caring. One relative told us they witnessed staff weighing people in the main lounge which they thought was far too public.

"Despite the concerns we identified, people told us they felt safe and the staff were nice to them. It was clear from our observations that staff knew people well and knew of their individual likes, dislikes and interests."

Inspectors found care plans failed to include basic information about reducing risks to residents, including about choking or falling, or for patients with conditions such as epilepsy or diabetes. Improvements had been made by the final visit.

The report states: "A whistle-blower contacted the CQC prior to the inspection to raise concerns about the way in which people were supported to eat. They said staff did not always give people adequate time to finish their mouthful of food before being given another."

The care home remains in special measures, with another inspection to take place in the next six months to check for "significant improvement."

Failure to improve the service before then could see the care home closed.

The care home has been contacted for comment.
Revealed : councils paid inadequate care homes £2.3 million to house children.

Twenty-three councils placed 58 children in homes owned by failing providers.

Councils are placing children in care homes that inspectors say do not provide a good standard of care at a cost of millions of pounds, an investigation has found.

The Guardian asked councils across England for information on the number of children being sent to homes run by 78 providers, all of whose properties were listed by Ofsted as being inadequate or in need of improvement to be good at the end of March.

Fifty-eight children were placed in such homes by at least 23 local authorities in the following three-month period, handing more than £2.3m to failing providers, according to freedom of information responses and analysis of councils’ published expenditure.

The figures could be much higher as a substantial number of councils did not respond, some would not say how many children on the grounds of data protection, and some would not say how much money was spent on providers citing commercial sensitivity.

The Guardian interviewed staff at some of these failing homes, with one former employee accusing bosses of not giving staff appropriate training and only caring about “money through the door”. At another company, a staff member said he had £40 a child to spend on breakfast, lunch and dinner for an entire week.

Critics have described the findings as worrying but said there were not enough homes and councils were in a “straitjacket”, with nowhere to place vulnerable children.

The children’s commissioner, Anne Longfield, said it was not acceptable that young people in care “are being asked to pay the price of system failures … and ultimately put at risk”.

Ann Coffey, the former MP who chaired the all-parliamentary group for runaway and missing children until she stood down at the last election, said children should not be placed in homes where the care is consistently inadequate.

She added: “Local authorities are in a straitjacket really … They have a statutory responsibility for these kids and have to place them somewhere and can only place them somewhere where there is an available home. No social worker would willingly place a child at a home that is inadequate.”

In some instances children were sent to homes run by providers that have repeatedly been deemed inadequate by Ofsted, which as well as inspecting schools, appraises services that care for children and young people.

The regulator rates children’s homes as either outstanding, good, requires improvement to be good or inadequate. Ofsted inspects homes that were judged in the latter two categories at least twice in each year-long inspection period. Homes that are judged as outstanding or good get one full inspection.

Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s national director for social care, said: “We would expect a council to think long and hard about that [sending a child to a home rated inadequate] and whether it was meeting a child’s needs. When we rate a home as inadequate we are saying it needs to improve radically and with pace, but if we found it unsafe we’d take regulatory action … so it is possible to place a child in an inadequate setting but we would expect them to want to talk to us to reassure themselves about reasons for inadequacy.”

She added that the issues raised were indicative of a lack of capacity in the system to provide for children with complex needs.

A source who works at one care home run by Sherico Care Services was critical of management at the firm’s children’s homes. He said staff were given just £40 a child to do a week’s worth of food shopping. “That is crazy, and makes it challenging for us to manage that. You have to find ways to make pounds stretch, that’s £40 for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for a week,” the staff member said.

The worker said staff earned about £8.50 an hour and the working hours were “ridiculous”. “You would not be surprised if someone had to work 24 hours, which is crazy,” he said. “But there are no benefits of sleep-ins, you do not get extra pay for staying overnight.”

They added that there had been times when homes were understaffed. “I was in a situation where there was myself and another colleague and three children there. A fight broke out and we had to try to stop that. But what if a third child wanted to get involved? There’s no one there to intervene. Situations like that can get quite dangerous,” he said.

A spokesperson for Sherico said: “We do not recognise the allegations that have been made by the Guardian. No member of staff has made any such complaints to us. We currently operate three homes; one of which is rated good, one requiring improvement and one inadequate. The company took the decision to close two other registered homes. The quality of care provided to our service users is our top priority and we are working hard to bring it up to the required standard where it falls short.”

Another company, Parkview Care, which operates in south-east England, had its facilities rated as “requires improvement to be good”.

Former staff alleged that children were brought in – regardless of whether staff had suitable training to manage them – to get “money through the door”.

One worker claimed: “The home was advertised as a therapeutic establishment but none of the staff were trained therapeutically and did not have the right training to deal with the level of need.”

Parkview said it had a history of providing good quality care to vulnerable children but in June 2018 Ofsted inspections took place that identified issues with the standard of care. The company said improvements were made.

The company added that in February 2019, despite progress being made it was acknowledged that this was “slower than anticipated and they restructured and streamlined the business”, which had a positive effect.

“We continually review all of our operational processes in an effort to exceed the standards with which we must comply,” it said.

The chair of the Local Government Association’s children and young people board, Judith Blake, said: “The vast majority of children’s homes are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, but year-on-year increases in the number of children entering the care system mean services are under significant and increasing pressure. Demand for children’s home places can often outweigh supply.

“Meanwhile, financial pressures on children services are limiting council’s efforts to develop and maintain the right provision locally. This can mean they are forced to place children in placements that are not best suited to their needs.

“It is important that the government works with councils to urgently improve the availability of high-quality homes that meet the needs of children in care.”
Ground zero ... Norfolk and North Suffolk.

What inspectors say about the region's worst and best care homes.

11 care homes in Norfolk and Waveney are in special measures, with some under review and at risk of closing down.

Faeces under fingernails, weeks without baths and calls to emergency services for support - these are some of the damning observations made at our region's failing care homes.

However, just 3pc of the 329 care homes in Norfolk and Waveney are rated as inadequate while 19.6pc are rated as outstanding.

Of the 11 homes currently rated inadequate and placed in special measures by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), three are under review and at risk of losing contracts and closing down.

Norfolk County Council said there were significant challenges across the care industry but it vowed to provide thousands more care home beds in the next decade.

The vast majority of care homes, 236, are rated good while another 63 require improvement.

Inadequate care homes

Dunsland, Paston Road, Mundesley.

Inspectors said incontinence pads were not being thrown away properly to prevent infections spreading, as some were found in bedroom bins.

Bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms and shared bathroom facilities were not clean and the care home also had a one-star food hygiene rating, inspectors added in October 2019.

Managing director David Finch said he faced the option of closing down the service but decided against it, as it would have left residents without a home, some of whom have been there for decades. 
He said funding cuts had a huge impact on the home and described recruitment as a struggle, but he said improvements were being made.

He also criticised the CQC for being "inconsistent".

Ivy Court, Ivy Road, Norwich

During a visit in July 2019, inspectors said they saw two residents being physically restrained, despite the care home having a no restraint policy.

They said when residents refused their medicine there were often no further attempts by staff to offer them later.

Inspectors found one resident at high risk of falls did not have a risk assessment reviewed in three months, despite having three falls within that time.

The care home, which is under review, was previously rated good in 2018.

A spokesman from Ivy Court said: "We continue to work with all key stakeholders and have an ongoing plan in place to further develop and embed improvements."

Kingsgate Residential Home, North Street, Sheringham

A report following an inspection in March 2019 states there were incidents of a resident repeatedly wandering off and being found by members of the public or staff who passed them while in their car.

There were no risk assessments in place for residents who managed their own medicine and there were only two staff members on shift at night supporting 25 people, inspectors said.

Owner Ginny Taylor said: "It has been an extremely tough period for everyone since the report was published, and we'd like to thank everyone for their continued support and positive feedback.

"We are striving to improve the areas highlighted in the report."

Northfields, West Earlham, Norwich

Inspectors found only one staff member worked at night - one carer had to call emergency services to help a resident off the floor as they were unable to do this alone.

One staff member told inspectors that they were advised by management to not wake up one resident if they wet the bed during the night, as a lack of staff meant they could not be supported to the toilet.

The care home was rated inadequate in July last year but it was rated good in its previous inspection in 2016.

Care home provider FitzRoy said: "We work closely with the local authority to ensure that we provide a responsive service that meets the needs of the people we support.

"We have taken immediate action to ensure we are offering a safe and well-led service."

St Michael's Court, St Michaels Avenue, Aylsham

Inspectors said one resident at high risk of malnutrition had lost weight while another resident at high risk of pressure ulcers was taken to hospital after their symptoms "significantly" worsened.

A report following an inspection in September 2019 states one person had bruises on their legs and face which was most likely caused by a carer using poor moving and handling techniques.

The care home is now under review after being rated inadequate for the third time in ten months.

St Michael's Court did not respond to a request for comment.

Walsham Grange, Bacton Road, North Walsham

Inspectors found staff members were pre-filling residents' records with times and details of care yet to be provided.

During the inspection in August last year, inspectors said one diabetic person was fed chocolate cake twice in one day, while one family member said their relative had faeces under their fingernails, which they had to ask staff to clean.

The care home was previously rated good in 2017.

Walsham Grange did not respond to a request for comment.

The Windmill Care Home, Main Road, Rollesby

Records showed some people were not getting baths or showers for as long as five weeks, a report stated following an inspection in August 2019.

One person who needed to be continuously supervised was found eating tissue while another resident who had asked for a drink did not get one until 90 minutes later, inspectors said.

The owners did not respond to a request for comment.

Sunnyside, Damgate Lane, Martham

In August last year, inspectors found staff were not getting regular breaks on 12-hour shifts.

They said access to risk items were putting residents in harm, with one person repeatedly attempting to tie ligatures around their neck, a report states.

Another environmental risk was loose bricks in the garden which could be used as a weapon or to cause damage to property, inspectors added.

Sunnyside did not respond to a request for comment.

St Georges Care Home, St Georges Road, Beccles

An inspector found one staff member spoon-feeding a resident without checking if they had swallowed their food between mouthfuls.

An October 2019 report states residents were being left unsupervised for long periods of time - one person almost hit their head on a table from falling asleep before an inspector intervened.

They also found four out of five mattresses were covered with urine stains, while another 23 mattress covers were also stained.

The care home did not respond to a request for comment.

Oak House, Victoria Road, Diss

A report states staff had called police to "numerous incidents" when dealing with residents with challenging behaviour.

Some carers told inspectors in June 2019 that they were not confident with supporting people with their needs, which they felt outweighed what the service could provide.

Staff said the manager "had no appreciation of the level of aggression, some unprovoked, that they were expected to manage", the report states.

The care home did not respond to a request for comment.

St Nicholas Care Home, St Nicholas Place, Sheringham

When inspectors visited in May 2019 they found a cleaning schedule showed the lounges and bathrooms had not been cleaned for a week and what appeared to be faeces was on the side of one toilet.

The inspection report stated one person had not had their inconsistence pad changed for more than 12 hours.

A family member said they saw a resident eating a potato off the floor, pointing to the lack of staff supervising the lunchtime meal, inspectors said.

The care home is currently under review.

The owners did not respond to a request for comment.

Outstanding care homes

CQC rated 19 care homes in Norfolk and Waveney as 'outstanding' last year, all of which have consistently scored top marks in safety and quality of care.

They are:

- Hassingham House Care Centre, Hingham

- Meadow House Nursing Home and Westfields, Swaffham

- Windmill House, Wymondham

- The Beeches, East Harling

- New Boundaries Group, Taverham

- Badgers Wood, Drayton

- Ford Place Nursing Home, Thetford

- Cascade (Charlton House), Chiswick House and Highwater House, Norwich

- Brandon Park Residential and Nursing Home, Brandon

- Kevlin House, North Walsham

- Holmwood Residential Home, Bungay

- Nightingale Lodge, Hunstanton

- Munhaven, Mundesley

- Ealing House Residential Care Home, Great Yarmouth

- Broadlands and Harleston House, Lowestoft

Hassingham House, in Hingham, near Wymondham, was praised by the CQC in March 2019 for the "exceptionally kind and responsive" care provided by staff, who "understood how to make people feel valued".

"They had a strong focus on reducing isolation, loneliness and promoting intergenerational connection," the inspection report states.

Centre manager Caroline Newman said the care home created good links with the community, who got involved in activities both at Hassingham House and in the village.

The CQC also gave a glowing review of Munhaven, in Mundesley, when it visited the care home in June last year.

Inspectors described staff as "extremely sensitive and compassionate" and said residents were "encouraged to have a voice".

Manager Alison Roberts said: "We work hard as a team, whatever our job role is, to support our residents and their families who remain an integral part of the individual's lives."

'Poor practice will not be tolerated'

A Norfolk County Council report on adult social care, published in July last year, states the county lost 173 care home beds in the 2018/19 financial year.

It cited one major challenge in the care sector as the high turnover of nurses.

The latest care home to lose its contract with the council is Cawston Lodge, which closed in November last year after just six months of opening.

As part of a £29m investment, the council said it would deliver 3,000 extra homes for older people by 2028.

A spokesman said: "We face significant challenges across the care market in the county - increasing demand, meeting people's care needs, provider quality and market sustainability are just some of the issues adult social care manages on a day-to-day basis.

"We have always encouraged providers to request support before they reach crisis point, however ongoing poor practice will not be tolerated by the county council or the CQC."

'Tarred with the same brush'

One care leader who has seen his care home go from 'requiring improvement' to 'good' in one inspection criticised the CQC for being too subjective.

"I'm all in favour of constantly improving standards in the industry, but the issue I have with CQC is it's very much perception-based," said Raj Sehgal, owner of Docking House, in Docking, near Hunstanton.

"What's good to one inspector may not be good to another, based on a day or two of viewing.

"Everything is tarred with the same brush and that's where it goes wrong - it's the one size fits all approach."

He said the care sector was being "brought to its knees" by a funding and staffing crisis - in one year, Docking House lost all but five of 38 new staff within a month.

He said Docking House now offered a competitive salary which had helped to retain staff and in turn improve standards.

But he said this has had a knock-on effect on their overall budget.

"In our region we are competing against the hospitality sector - seasonal work pays higher," Mr Sehgal said. "How can we entice people to join the care sector if we pay less than Tesco?"

This sentiment was shared by Nadra Ahmed OBE, chairman of the National Care Association.

She said: "Underinvestment in social care has left providers to pick up the subsidy for the state which is unsustainable."

The CQC was contacted for comment.

Care firm's leadership criticised by Care Quality Commission.

Concerns have been raised by inspectors about the leadership at a firm at the centre of a BBC expose over allegations of abuse at a mental health hospital.

The Panorama investigation - aired in May - was based on undercover filming at County Durham's learning disabilities unit Whorlton Hall.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) followed this up with a probe into the management of Cygnet Health Care.

The firm said it was addressing concerns that had been raised.

The CQC found that patients under the firm's care were more likely to be restrained.

Higher rates of self-harm were also noted by inspectors who quizzed managers and analysed records at the company's headquarters.

Cygnet runs more than 100 services for vulnerable adults and children, caring for people with mental health problems, learning disabilities and eating disorders.

What else did inspectors find ?

The regulator found a lack of clear lines of accountability between the executive team and its services.

It said directors' identity and disclosure and barring service checks had been carried out.

But it said that required checks had not been made to ensure that directors and board members met the "fit and proper" person test for their roles.

Systems used to manage risk were also criticised, while training for intermediate life support was not provided to all relevant staff across services where physical intervention or rapid tranquilisation was used.

However, the CQC did say that the senior leadership team was responding to concerns, and pointed out that most services run by the provider were rated as good with some as outstanding.


Cygnet said it was taking steps to improve services, but added it was "not complacent" and would "take on board" the recommendations.

A spokeswoman added: "We treat some of the most acute patients that other providers may not be able or willing to support.

"We always aim to de-escalate and advocate least restrictive practices in line with current good practice guidelines."

The unit at the centre of the BBC allegations has been closed. While it was privately run, it was NHS-funded.
124 posts