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

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Ground zero ... Norfolk ( Nawfook in native tongue ) :

" It’s devastating " : Care home managers hit back at inspection regime.

The appalling conditions inspectors have found in some of Norfolk’s care homes have put the industry in the spotlight.

Homes are given one of four ratings from “outstanding” to “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

And last year Norfolk had the lowest level of care homes rated as “good” in the country and the highest number rated as “requires improvement” - the step above inadequate.

But owners hit with poor ratings often claim inspections are unfair and just show a snapshot.

It was a defence put up by John Dupuis, who runs Elsenham House in Cromer.

Elsenham House was put into special measures in November but Mr Dupuis said: “We [previously] got good in all areas and nothing has changed.

“However what has changed is four years ago we were dealing with a CQC inspector and all of a sudden they sent an email round and said she had resigned.

“The new inspector came round and… does all her stuff but never asks any questions.”

Mr Dupuis claimed that instead of basing the inspection on what residents said, it was instead based on paperwork.

“We were concerned and when the report came out it did not reflect what we do here,” he said. “We are at the coalface; these are people who are very unwell.”

But this was contested by the CQC who said inspections were much more than that.

A spokesman said: “We visit services to assess how they are delivering care, speak to people receiving care, their relatives and the staff and management of the services.”

Elsenham House is a residential home for people with mental health or challenging behaviour problems.

In the CQC report inspectors said it was unclean, but Mr Dupuis said: “Some of these residents go to the toilet and as a matter of course they wee next to the toilet bowl.

He said health and hygiene inspectors were called in but they thought the home was “absolutely brilliant”.

“We are facing reality head on and I’ve asked many of these people who sit in offices please come and spent a day with us.

“I’ve been in this business for 15 years, I’ve seen all the promises and all the words, I can see the pressure coming from central government that filters down.

“It’s devastating because we are here and we really care for these people.”

Steve Dorrington, a former councillor, has homes in Dereham, Watton, and Wells, and said it did not make sense how his three homes, which he said were run identically, could get different ratings - two good and one requires improvement.

“Everything has changed with the inspection,” he said. “We got requires improvement. What’s very unfair is it is six months until your next inspection. You’re stuck with that even if you fix it the next day.”

“The number of requires improvement has gone up quite a lot. There are also little clusters of ‘inadequates’ and ‘requires improvements’ and I think that’s impacted by how the doctors’ surgeries perform too.

“If they are short of doctors, nurses and they don’t come out to you, and you end up with a grade three pressure ulcer, you get marked down.

“The CQC are in a difficult position now because if they really go tough on the homes there will be nowhere left to take the residents.

“I don’t have a problem with the system at all but what they need to consider is when they punish someone it’s not necessarily the people who are going to benefit from it. I think a little bit more care and consideration.

Manager at the “outstanding” rated Meadow House in Swaffham Joanna Jankowska said she used to think inspections were all based on paperwork.

But after seeing an inspection carried out, she changed her mind.

She said: “I strongly believe it’s not just a snapshot, even if you’re doing bad that day.”

“Paperwork proves what you’ve been doing, if you have not got that they’re going to judge you on that day.”

Alison Charlesworth, manager at Ford Place Nursing Home in Thetford which is rated “outstanding”, dismissed claims that inspectors looked at a snapshot in one day, pointing to the folders of paperwork she kept which she provided to inspectors.

“I get the snapshot of the day thing, if things don’t run like they’re planned to, but it’s not about the day. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how you learn from them,” she said.

At Saxlingham Hall, on the outskirts of Norwich, even though manager Theresa Parfitt had earned an outstanding rating she did see problems with the system.

She said: “I think it’s very difficult in homes where there’s a lot of dementia. I think there are a lot of care homes struggling, “It’s very difficult to meet the care needs with the funds they receive.”

A CQC spokesman added: “As part of our inspection process, we also seek information from other organisations such as Clinical Commissioning Groups, Healthwatch and local authorities about the services being inspected.”
Durham Care Home announces sudden plans to close " Within a week. "


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An east Hull care home which looks after patients with dementia and eating disorders has suddenly announced plans to close.

Residents and their families as well as staff at Durham Care Home in Durham Street have been told the facility is set to close - with one family member saying it will shut its doors for the final time within a week.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said the announcement was made during a meeting at the care home on Tuesday - and families have been given just a week to find an alternative home for their loved ones.

She said: “We were told we were there to discuss concerns but when we were there they made it clear they wanted to close it.

“On Tuesday they said they didn’t have a timescale but said they only had the council care staff until next Sunday.

“Now we’re being told it will close within a week."


Hull City Council says they have been working with the owners to develop and action plan and their attention has turned to “minimising the impact and disruption for residents”.

Councillor Gwen Lunn, portfolio holder for public health, prevention and safeguarding adults at Hull City Council, said: “We had taken steps to prepare for the possible closure of Durham care home, developing an action plan which is now in operation.

"Our priority is minimising the impact and disruption for residents and ensuring that they receive care and support throughout this process. Residents, their families and staff have been informed that the closure is to go ahead.

“We have now deployed our own staff to ensure people are receiving the care that meets their needs, and will work closely with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to find alternative accommodation for residents.”

The home caters for people over the age of 65 with a number of conditions including sensory issues, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

It contains 14 single rooms, three shared rooms and four en suites.
What a nightmare for the residents and families and friends. Staff too.
I thought care services had to give 28 days notice, unless there are serious safeguarding concerns? Not that 28 days is long, if our experience with sourcing a timely care visit is anything to go by.

Melly1
Trouble is , Melly ... a weekly Internet search ... UK care homes immediate closures ... will reveal 2 / 3 / 4 weekly ,
nationwide ... and every indication that more will follow ... by the " Book " or otherwise.

Given all the info already posted in this thread , hardly surprising ... beyond the few in number ???

Same will be seen if I add another couple of threads ... adult daycare centres & child care / pre school nurseries.
Did I mention child care ?

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/news-and ... 43#p400343

BACK TO CARE HOMES !
Agency tried to charge care homes £2,700 a shift for workers.

Newcross Healthcare, which fined workers for calling in ill, accused of " Fleecing " taxpayers.


One of the country’s biggest providers of agency health workers has been accused of “profiteering” after trying to charge care homes up to £2,700 to supply a staff member for a single shift.

The Guardian can reveal that Newcross Healthcare, already exposed for fining workers £50 when they call in sick, quoted the sky-high charges in a price list sent out to homes looking for cover over Christmas.

Newcross – which supplies thousands of agency health workers to care homes, many of whose residents have their fees paid by local councils – stated that it would be charging triple its normal Sunday day rates to supply staff on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

According to a price list seen by the Guardian, the firm normally charges £76.84 an hour to supply a head of care, also known as a matron, for a Sunday day shift. At triple rates of £230.52 an hour, this would cost a care home £2,766 for a 12-hour shift.

The company also charges £59.12 an hour to supply a nurse for a Sunday day shift. At a triple rate of £177.36 an hour, it would mean a 12-hour shift for a nurse would cost a care home £2,128.


A normal Sunday rate for a senior carer is £30.12, the document states.

The Labour MP Barbara Keeley, the shadow minister for social care, said: “It is symptomatic of the broken social care system caused by Tory austerity measures that companies like Newcross Healthcare can effectively fleece the taxpayer for thousands of pounds just for a single shift.

“This cynical company puts a high price on the work of their staff but values them far less, fining them for calling in sick and eroding their terms and conditions.”

It follows a Guardian investigation which revealed how Newcross Healthcare, which made a pre-tax profit of £21m in 2017, has been fining staff who phone in sick £50, raising concerns that frontline employees are being forced to turn up for shifts when they are not fit for work and risk spreading illnesses to vulnerable patients.

After the Guardian’s investigation in December, the firm said it would scrap the policy in April but has faced calls to end it immediately.

Following our story, a concerned care home manager contacted the Guardian after being sent through an email about the Christmas period rates. The correspondence stated that the firm would charge double Sunday night rates from 6pm on Christmas Eve until 8am on Christmas Day, before upping the charge to triple Sunday day rates until 8pm and triple Sunday night rates until 8am on Boxing Day.

New Year’s Eve from 6pm until 8am on New Year’s Day was charged at two-and-a-half times the normal Sunday night rate, before dropping to twice the Sunday day charge until 8pm. Sunday night hourly rates are slightly lower than day shifts, with £71.37 charged for a head of care and £54.90 billed for a nurse.

The care home manager, whose home looks after people funded both privately and by local authorities and the NHS, said Newcross was “exceptionally cut-throat in the way they do business”, accusing the firm of “profiteering”.

The manager, who did not wish to be named, said: “Any opportunity to squeeze the customers a little bit harder, they seem to want to do so. I don’t think there’s any consideration given to who they’re charging. Whether it’s a top-end private provider that’s getting £1,500 a week to look after a resident or whether it’s a local authority provider where the fee levels are much less.

“They don’t just charge triple rate [for Christmas Day], it’s triple the Sunday rate. That’s pretty poor. I deal with three or four agencies at the moment and none of the others do that. In comparison to them, they are profiteering.”

The manager said other agencies he used typically charged double their normal rates for these periods. He said he managed to find cover from another agency, meaning he did not have to pay Newcross’s Christmas rates.

The manager also said Newcross charged inflated “introduction” fees for care homes wanting to employ nurses or carers who work for the agency. “General practice is for agencies/recruitment companies to charge 10%-12% of salary for a staff member who leaves them to work for a client so I’d typically expect to pay up to £1,500 for a care assistant or £2,000-3,000 for a nurse. However, Newcross charges a fixed fee of £3,000 for a care assistant or £6,000 for a nurse,” he said.

He added: “Their terms and conditions even try to hold clients responsible for this fee if they recommend a member of Newcross’s staff to a third-party employer who subsequently employs them … My feeling is that they simply want to make it as difficult as possible for their staff to leave without some kind of compensation for the subsequent loss of income.”

Newcross Healthcare did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
MP tells of how she found father " Bruised and bleeding " in care facility.

Rosena Allin-Khan claims he was left with unexplained injuries on several occasions.



An MP has told the Commons how her elderly father was left bloodied, bruised and unconscious at a care facility, claiming a senior council official subsequently told her “he had asked for it”.

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan said her father, who has dementia, suffered an appalling catalogue of injuries while staying at an extra care facility last year.

Speaking in a parliamentary adjournment debate that she secured into the safeguarding of vulnerable people in care homes, the Labour MP – whose account provoked gasps in the chamber – called for action to be taken to “ensure that even more families do not experience the horror of finding their loved one bruised, bleeding and terrified”.

The shadow minister for sport, who also works as an A&E doctor, explained how on several occasions her father was left with unexplained injuries. The situation became so bad, she said, that her father began sleeping on the floor in a communal area as he was too terrified to stay in his room.

Her father, a former university lecturer in his 70s who can no longer speak properly, was living at Ensham House in Wandsworth, south London for 18 months until late last year. The facility provides 24-hour care for people aged 55 and over living in 45 individual flats.

The most recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission rated the facility as “good”. But Allin-Khan said neither Wandsworth council or London Care, which is contracted by the local authority to look after people staying there, had provided an adequate explanation for the situation. She said she and her family felt as if they were being put “on trial” when raising concerns.

She even claimed the director of adult social services at Wandsworth council, Liz Bruce, last week refused to look at photos of her father’s injuries and declared the dementia sufferer had sustained them because he “had asked for it”. Bruce has been contacted for comment.

Allin-Khan told the Commons it took three days before a carer alerted her that her father had first been injured. “He was found extremely distressed by a carer, covered in bloody injuries,” she said.

“To our horror, we were told he had not left the building overnight, there was no evidence of him having fallen and no other resident had any evidence of injury. Quite unexpectedly, the centre manager suddenly left and not a single person had any excuse as to what had happened or why we were not called.

“In the following months, we found my father bruised again with no answers on two further occasions … we were incredibly concerned, and this is when they started to attempt to claim, that despite a year of living there with no issues towards him, my father was being ‘difficult’.

“This was not corroborated by his community psychiatric team, [nor] any of the day centre staff where he spent up to 25 hours per week.”

When her father was admitted to hospital for a routine issue, he was served an eviction notice detailing a list of allegations against him with “no evidence”, the MP said, adding: “How heartless, an eviction notice while in hospital.”

Allin-Khan, who said the care facility had five separate managers in as many months, said: “The point of no return was when we found my father unconscious on the floor with blood on the walls and the floor and the carer’s set of keys left next to him. Following this, he spent one month in hospital.”

Her father has since been moved to another care facility. The MP, who works at St George’s hospital in her south London seat of Tooting, said: “We must give our vulnerable a fair chance at ageing safely and gracefully and their voices must be heard.”

The Metropolitan police, which investigated the injuries sustained by the MP’s father, said: “Despite extensive enquiries, it was not possible to confirm whether or not the man had been assaulted.”

London Care Ltd made a pre-tax profit of £723,000 in 2018, up from £626,000 in 2017, according to Companies House.

A spokesman said: “Dr Allin-Khan’s father had complex care needs and we were already aware of concerns about his tenancy at Ensham House Extra Care scheme, at which London Care provides care services. However, we have no reason to believe that London Care failed in its duty of care in this case and our view is supported by the findings of the local authority’s own safeguarding investigation.”

A Wandsworth council spokesman said: “We have been in dialogue with Rosena Allin-Khan MP about her father for some time, and are aware of her concerns. Although she makes some important points related to wider public policy, in the investigations to date we have not been able to validate her specific complaint about her father’s care.”

A council spokesman added: “Liz Bruce is one of the most experienced directors of adult social services in the country and has been a director for more than ten years.

“Prior to her current role she was director of adult social services at Manchester City Council and after that carried out the same position at three London boroughs. She cares very much for vulnerable adults and leads a department which demands high standards when it comes to safeguarding arrangements, taking our safeguarding duties very seriously.

“She has personally been involved in this case in which she has deep empathy, working closely with the MP and her family. The council has strong confidence in the professionalism of her and her staff.”
It would be interesting to see what happens if the MP makes a formal complaint, and if not resolved, then on to the Ombudsman
Residents " Not safe " in Somerset care homes.

Some families of vulnerable adults with learning disabilities in Somerset say they are concerned their relatives are not always safe in their care homes.



A diabetic man who was rushed to hospital, potentially due to a lack of insulin, and residents being left unsupervised are among issues raised.

Private care provider Discovery began running services in the county in 2017.

The company said it took safety "extremely seriously" and any issues were "robustly investigated".

Discovery took over the care of more than 900 adults with learning disabilities from Somerset County Council nearly two years ago.

Since then there has been a high staff turnover - many former staff told the BBC they left because they were unhappy with new terms and conditions.

" They didn't know him. "

Sarah Moore, whose son Marcus is severely autistic and lives in supported living at Badger Street Farm near Taunton, said she only found out he had been taken to A&E with diabetic ketoacidosis late last year when her husband turned up to bring him home for a weekend.

"It could be that somebody had forgotten to give him his insulin," she said.

Mr Moore was removed from Discovery's care because of parents' concerns.

"We were not happy that it was safe. There was no-one that we knew or trusted," his father David Moore said.

"All the staff were either agency, or people that had just come in. They didn't know him. You need to be able to read the signals," Mrs Moore added.

Pat Durbin said any trust she had in Discovery had "completely gone" after she discovered her son, Steven Bodycombe, got into a bath he filled himself, unsupervised, at a residential care home in Taunton last November.

"It could have been boiling hot water, it could have been freezing cold water. He's not that steady on his feet, he could have slipped and knocked himself out," she said.

"For him to be able to do that, and them not be aware until after the event... it's very worrying."

She said her son had also "escaped" and was found "wandering around outside", trying to get on a minibus.

"I've got absolutely nothing against the individual staff, they are lovely and very committed," she said.

"But they are inexperienced, most of them are very young, and they just haven't got the knowledge of what these guys need yet."

" Not always easy. "

A spokesperson said Discovery had apologised to the families concerned and it took "the safety of all those in our care extremely seriously".

"Any issues raised with us are immediately and robustly investigated."

They said services were reviewed when Discovery took over providing them and found "support needed updating".

"We deeply regret families' negative experiences and realise that the impact of the change has not always been easy."

They added that restructuring of the service was completed by the end of 2018, and jobs were offered to 93 people between November and January.

They said the service was temporarily more reliant on agency staff but they were " Working hard to redress the balance. "
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Row after staff at Nottinghamshire care home learn of closure date on social media.


During last month’s full council meeting Councillor Stuart Wallace, chairman of the adult social care and public health committee, announced James Hince Court, in Carlton-in-Lindrick, would be closing in September.

The news was tweeted out by councillor Alan Rhodes, leader of the Labour party in the county, despite the fact neither the staff, residents nor the families of residents at the care home had been informed of the planned closure date.

Speaking this week, Councillor Rhodes said he sent the tweet in ‘good faith’, believing the correct protocols had been followed in regard to informing staff and residents of the home.

Has has since accused the Conservative-run council of treating staff and residents with “contempt” by announcing the closure in the way they did.

“I’m very angry about it,” he said.

“Some people found out that they were going to lose their jobs through social media, which is totally unacceptable, and drives a coach and horses through the council’s procedures in dealing with members of staff who are facing redundancy.

“The way in which it was announced, it treated those caring members of staff and the people in their care with contempt, in my opinion.


“It’s very embarrassing for me personally, but it’s not me that matters, it’s them, and the way they’ve found out about the fact that their place of employment is going to close in September. Obviously people are concerned and upset about it, and that’s why I’m describing this decision and the way it’s been carried through as callous.

“It’s an attempt at political point scoring by Councillor Wallace, who made the announcement when he shouldn’t have done. Because the proper procedures hadn’t been followed, and the approval for closure of the home is going to adult social care committee in April. So he made the announcement before the decision was made by the committee to pursue the closure of it.”

Councillor Rhodes said he disagreed entirely with the decision to close the home, adding: “It still provides good care for elderly people and people coming out of hospital who require respite care before they go home.”

However, in yet another twist, the Conservative group has defended the decision that has been taken – and say it dates back to a decision taken by the Labour council back in 2015, under the leadership of Councillor Rhodes himself.

“The decision to close James Hince Court and all of Nottinghamshire County Council’s other remaining care and support centres was taken in February 2015 by Councillor Alan Rhodes and his Labour administration,” Councillor Wallace said in a statement.

“The rationale for Labour’s decision was correct, that the centres had become outdated, too expensive to run and no longer fit for purpose. They argued at the time that better accommodation could be provided elsewhere, and this would be in the best interests of the residents of these care centres, whilst saving £4.3 million to be spent on other social care priorities.

“The problem is Councillor Rhodes and his Labour colleagues tied the closure of the care centres to the opening of new extra care facilities nearby, and then failed to deliver those new facilities on time.

“They also ignored the fact many care and support centre residents had high levels of dependency and would never be suitable for transfer to semi-independent extra care anyway.

“In other words, Labour had a good policy in principle but made a complete mess of it in practice. The Conservative and Mansfield Independent administration has been left to sort out that mess and we are making good progress.

“There are now only three remaining long-term residents living at James Hince Court and we will work with their families to help them move safely into alternative accommodation with minimal disruption.

“Under Labour’s original plan, James Hince Court was supposed to close in early 2018. We took the decision in public last March to delay the closure date until at least July 2019, and now we are expecting the centre to be empty by September 2019.”
63 posts