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

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
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Whorlton Hall : Former inspector says warnings were ignore.

A former inspector at the Care Quality Commission says a 2015 report into Whorlton Hall hospital which presented " Warning bells " went unpublished.


Barry Stanley-Wilkinson says he wrote the report four years before BBC Panorama revealed the alleged abuse of patients with learning disabilities and autism.

The CQC said the draft report raised no concerns about abusive practices.

The claims come after 10 workers at the specialist hospital were arrested.

Seven men and three women were arrested last week at addresses in Barnard Castle, Bishop Auckland, Darlington and Stockton over the alleged abuse of patients.

An undercover BBC Panorama investigation into the specialist hospital in County Durham - a 17-bed unit for adults with learning difficulties and autism - appeared to show patients being mocked, intimidated and restrained.

Cygnet, the firm that runs the 17-bed hospital unit for adults with learning difficulties and autism, said it was "shocked and deeply saddened" by the allegations.

The company only took over the running of the centre at the turn of the year and said it was "co-operating fully" with the police investigation.

Poor culture

The site had at least 100 visits by official agencies in the year before the alleged abuse was discovered.

Mr Stanley-Wilkinson says he noticed a "very poor culture" was evident when he led the 2015 inspection.

He told the BBC that he had raised concerns over the "very poor culture" in a report he wrote - four years prior to the BBC investigation.

He said: "I strongly believe that anybody that can understand organisational culture reading that report would agree that there was definitely warning bells there.

"I was extremely upset. This should have been listened to back in 2015 and I said quite openly, when I left the organisation, that I felt it had neglected its promise to people with learning disabilities."

He said it was the only report he wrote in nearly a decade of working at the CQC which wasn't published.

In a statement, the CQC said the report went through a "rigorous peer review process".

It said the draft report "did not raise any concerns about abusive practice".

The CQC said a later inspection rated the hospital as "good overall".

In a statement it said: "We are in the process of commissioning a review into what we could have done differently or better in our regulation of Whorlton Hall and these allegations will be fully investigated as part of this.

"We will update on the progress and findings of this review in our Public Board meetings."
Sitting comfortably ... feet up ... glass of single malt handy ?

( Drop of vinegar in water and a huge imagination for us lesser proles ? )

I might just be able to change that sense of serenity.

Have a read of this one !


Revealed : 6,000 residential care workers suffer violent attacks

Injuries include loss of sight and brain damage, says union.



Care workers suffered more than 6,000 violent attacks during the last five years, shocking new figures reveal. Workers on the front line report that almost all would have been perpetrated by residents in their care, many of whom have mental health conditions.

The statistics, which were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, are being released by the GMB union that represents care workers, ahead of its annual congress, which begins in Brighton today.

They show that between the financial years 2013-14 and 2017-18, 6,034 violent attacks on carers resulting in serious injury were reported to the Health and Safety Executive.

Of these, 5,008 workers were so seriously injured that they had to take at least seven days off work.

A further 1,026 carers suffered a “specified” injury – a category that includes fractures, loss of sight, brain damage, loss of consciousness, asphyxia, or amputation. One attack resulted in the death of a carer, the Observer understands.

“Our members often tell us about the abuse they have to face at work – and these figures back them up,” said Rachel Harrison, GMB national officer. “These statistics are the tip of the iceberg – they only include the most serious injuries. Our members have to deal with violence on a daily basis.”

Violent attacks account for a third of reports involving residential care workers – compared with just 7% of reports for all workers.

“Unfortunately, our members are sometimes put under unacceptable pressure to keep working after an attack when they should be receiving care themselves,” Harrison said. “Care is crucial. But too often the sector is overlooked and the people working in care treated as less than the frontline professionals that they are.”

Sarah, (not her real name) who is in her early 30s and has been working in care homes both in the public and private sector since she left school, said attacks were common.

“I was talking to a colleague at a desk and a resident rugby-tackled me into a set of metal filing cabinets and then continued to beat me up. I ended up with badly bruised ribs, and he broke my glasses, which cut my face. There’s no ill will towards him at all – he had a mental illness.”

A senior carer with a degree in social care, Sarah had to have two weeks off to recover – on basic sick pay at £70 a week.

“Considering I was doing 50-plus hours at the time, it was a big wage cut for me,” she said. “We know it’s going to happen every day. You get kicked, scratched, spat at, sworn at. I had a friend ask me, ‘Did you used to cut yourself as a teenager?’ I said no, that’s nail marks from residents over the years.”

Despite the abuse, Sarah said that she harboured no feelings of resentment towards the residents she was looking after.

“You care for the person – you don’t hold it against them,” she said. “Nine times out of 10 it’s a mental illness, whether it’s dementia, bipolar or schizophrenia. You understand that.”

The release of the figures will help foster greater awareness of the conditions under which carers work.

“The only time you hear about carers in the news is when they attack residents,” Sarah said. “Most homes are chronically understaffed. On average, there are three carers to 20 residents and I’ve even known it to be two carers. It’s not a safe number. Absence is high in that job because people just don’t want to come in. We’ve had so many leave and go into retail.”

Part of the problem, she said, was the lack of recognition that carers receive. “A nurse is valued. You tell people you are a carer and it’s just like ‘You’re a carer, OK’ – but we’re on the front line. We hold them when they are passing away and do the little things like laying out someone’s clothes to see what they want to wear for the day.”




Don't shoot me ... I'm just the overworked , underpaid , messenger of ... usually ... bad tidings ?

This is CarerLand ... what else do you expect for yer occasional 50p in a collection tin ?

Probably , 10p left by the time it reaches the front line ?

Whatever next ?

A riot shield and baton before entering one of these establishments ?

##############################################################################

In fairness to many of the paid staff , the management are selling many down the river ... BOTH in the public and
private sectors ... no difference between the two when there is a critical shortage of staff !

And ... what are the residents REALLY getting for their monies ... private or LA funded ??????????????
Could be one from any manor ... Halifax just being on my " Regular visits " list :

( CQC Report : https://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-121175649 )



Owner of Halifax care home in special measures apologises after latest " Inadequate " inspection.

The owner of Halifax care home Moor View insists “ Root and branch action ” is being taken after its latest inspection found it to be in breach of seven regulations.


The owner of Halifax care home Moor View insists “root and branch action” is being taken after its latest inspection found it to be in breach of seven regulations.

The Richmond Fellowship has apologised after the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) latest inspection rated it as inadequate in all categories.

Moor View is in special measures and could face closure unless it improves.

Three breaches were identified at its previous inspection, for safe care and treatment, safeguarding and good governance.

But a further four areas were identified by the CQC as inadequate, which were in person-centred care, dignity and respect, need for consent, and premises and equipment.

The care home is rated as inadequate in all five key areas - safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.


Moor View is a residential care home providing personal and nursing care for around 17 people with mental health needs.

The latest CQC report, published earlier this month, found that people were not safe because risks had not been properly identified and mitigated.

The report also said that safeguarding processes were in place but incidents were not always recognised as safeguarding concerns, and therefore not reported appropriately.

CQC inspectors also said that people were not always consulted about matters affecting them and decisions were sometimes made on behalf of people, without seeking their consent.

The report also stated that while some staff knew people well and understood their personal preferences, care was not person centred and people had limited opportunities to work towards their goals and aspirations.

There was little evidence, the report said, the provider had respect for people or regard for their dignity because the environment and furnishings were not clean or well maintained.

The report also said that care and support records were not efficient or effective enough for staff to locate information about people’s care, risks and support needs.


But the report did say that people and staff felt the home’s new manager was beginning to make a difference in the home, and that staff felt supported through training and supervision and gave positive comments about the manager.

The CQC says it is taking enforcement action and will continue to monitor the service closely and discuss ongoing concerns with the local authority.

Richmond Fellowship Chief Executive Derek Caren said: “We’re very sorry that Moor View care home fell far short of the standards we expect all of our services to provide. We’re working to ensure that the service is providing care and support that is appropriate, safe and effective as quickly as possible.

“We are taking root-and-branch action to put things right in partnership with the CQC, our commissioners, the people we support, their families and advocates.”
Alarming rise in reports of care home abuse in England.

Exclusive : More than 67,500 allegations of mistreatment received by CQC last year as watchdog launches inquiry into how mistreatment by staff went unaddressed at Whorlton Hall hospital.



There has been a dramatic increase in reports of abuse at care homes in England, official figures reveal, as the sector’s watchdog investigates why warnings from whistleblowers and its own inspectors went unheeded.

In 2014 there were 37,060 reported allegations of abuse received by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), compared with 67,590 in 2018 – an increase of 82 per cent. The total number of allegations for the four-year period was 251,679.

The figures were released in response to a written question by Labour MP James Frith and come as CQC has commissioned an internal review of its operations in the wake of revelations of abuse at Whorlton Hall.

“This drastic rise in the number of reported incidents of abuse in care homes is alarming,” said Dan Scorer, head of policy and public affairs at learning disability charity Mencap.

“Even if some of the increase can be attributed to better reporting, these numbers are extremely disturbing and need to be investigated urgently. There should be a zero tolerance approach to abuse.”

The Whorlton Hall investigation was sparked by undercover filming by BBC’s Panorama programme, which showed staff bragging of assaulting residents, threatening them, and using tactics described as “psychological torture”.

A police investigation, first reported by The Independent, into the NHS-funded, privately-run hospital for people with learning disabilities and autism has so far seen 10 staff arrested.

It has since emerged that an ex-CQC inspector, Barry Stanley Wilkinson, accused the watchdog of burying a report after he raised concerns about the hospital in 2015.

Whorlton Hall was eventually rated “good” by the CQC that year, and its rating was not amended despite multiple follow-up visits – leading MPs on the Joint Committee on Human Rights to accuse the regulator of giving “false reassurances”.

Scandalous care in such hospitals is not exclusive to Whorlton Hall. A mental health hospital for children and adolescents in Nottinghamshire, run by St Andrew’s Healthcare, one of the country’s largest care providers, was recently placed in special measures by the CQC after inspections found patients were secluded in unsafe, unfurnished rooms.

While the government has committed to ending the use of inpatient placements to care for people with complex needs, it has missed its targets for closures because of a lack of capacity in the community.

Figures released last week show 2,250 people with learning disabilities and autism are locked away in these centres, a rise from the previous month, while use of physical restraint is at a record high.

Dr Sara Ryan, whose 18-year-old son Connor Sparrowhawk drowned while under the care of an NHS trust, quit the government review of inpatient care in protest at the CQC’s handling of Whorlton Hall.

“The Whorlton Hall scandal recently has removed any confidence I had in the CQC – which wasn’t a great deal,” she told The Independent. “The idea they are facing such an increase is worrying.”

Labour’s shadow mental health and social care minister, Barbara Keeley, has called on the government to review whether the CQC is still “fit for purpose” if it cannot ensure the safety of inpatients even when concerns are raised.

“We encourage all people using adult social care services to speak up about their experiences of care,” Kate Terroni, the CQC’s chief inspector of adult social care, said.

“Hearing directly from people is an important part of our inspection work and contributes to driving improvements in standards, as well as helping us identify where poor care has taken place.”

She added that the watchdog takes these concerns seriously and can close down services where it finds issues.

The Department of Health and Social Care said 84 per cent of adult social care providers are rated “good” or “outstanding” by CQC.

”Abuse of vulnerable people is abhorrent and we expect all care homes to protect their residents,” a spokesperson added. “To ensure this happens we have introduced robust inspections of care services and made sure that the police, councils and the NHS are working together to help protect vulnerable adults.”

The government department added that councils had received £3.9bn to fund adult social care this year – though this isn’t limited to people with autism and learning disabilities and the government has delayed promised reforms of the sector six times since 2017.
How many more failings and deaths will it take before CQC change their inspection regime?
The failure to respond to individual complaints is crazy.
We need to adopt a different approach. In Dorset the Police have a "No Excuse" policy for speeding over 30.
Surely in the case of vulnerable adults who cannot speak up for themselves there should be a similar policy?
Just looked up this report https://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/fi ... AJ3174.pdf
Not only is the content shocking, as is the fact that the company have 6 months to rectify the findings, the quality of the written report is very poor - full of spelling mistakes and it appears to not have been proof read.

Melly1
Noboby came out of that one with any brownie points ... nor jail sentences ... so far.

The words GROSS NEGLIGENCE spring to mind.
Patient allowed beer at inadequate care home despite medication advising against alcohol.

A care home for people with learning disabilities has been described as unsafe by the health watchdog.


A care home for people with learning disabilities has been described as unsafe by the health watchdog.

Inspectors have highlighted several failings within the service, which cared for seven people at the time of their visit in May.

A report by the CQC said that prescription drugs were not managed safely at the premises, on Drury Lane, and in one case a patient was allowed to drink beer despite being on medication which specified they should not consume alcohol.

Concerns were also raised about a high turnover of staff at the home and inspectors said that in some cases workers only found out what shift patterns they were working one day beforehand.

The report said: "People were not safe and were at risk of avoidable harm. Some regulations were not met.

"Staff lacked knowledge around how to support people with behaviours that challenged. They completed training, but this did not equip them with the skills to fully understand the different intervention techniques.

"Staff recorded different level intervention techniques they used on incident forms but were unable to explain what these were.

"Support plans contained a lot of information, but did not always reflect the person's needs. One person's support plan stated they could have one beer.

"Staff and management were unclear about the reasons only one beer was allowed. One member of staff said they thought it was a decision that was made two years ago.

"However, we established they were prescribed a medicine that clearly stated alcohol should not be consumed."

Inspectors spoke to relatives of people in the home, one of whom said that although they'd raised concerns, improvements had not been made.

They said, "I have no trust in the management at all, I'm tired of hearing my own voice complaining, with nothing changing."

Another relative was quoted as saying, "I have no problem complaining, I know what's right and wrong, I just wish they would listen."

There was praise however for the way staff interacted with patients.

The report said: "Examples of caring practice were seen on both days of the inspection.

"People enjoyed the company of staff who supported them. Some people enjoyed banter with staff and others they lived with."

Prospect House now has six months to make big improvements to the service or else potentially face closure.

The home's management declined to comment.
Damian Green : local authorities avoid care home developments

Tory MP says social care costs associated with older people dissuades struggling councils.


Local authorities are increasingly reluctant to allow care homes and retirement homes to be built in their areas because they can’t afford the social care costs associated with that demographic, Conservative MP and former deputy prime minister Damian Green has said.

The chair of the all-party parliamentary group on longevity, who has produced his own policy paper suggesting a solution to the social care funding crisis, said it was a “quiet secret” that local authorities – who have to fund social care costs – try to avoid applications for homes for older people.

He also warned that unless all parties agree to seek a cross-party consensus on social care funding, a political crisis triggered by an “enormous scandal” will force them to act.

“We need to face up to these unpalatable truths,” he said. “The current system isn’t sustainable financially or politically. An enormous scandal will break and suddenly, there will be a political crisis. Cynically, it may be that we need something like that, but we should be able to avoid it because we know it is probably coming.


“Local authorities don’t want to become attractive places for retired people,” he added. “If things go on as they are, local authorities will become social care providers with everything else as ‘add-ons’ and the traditional things we all expect from them simply not existing.”

Age UK estimates that 1.4 million older people have unmet care needs. This is despite the average share of local authority funding going on adult social care reaching almost 25% of their total budget in 2017-2018.

Local authority budgets have seen devastating cuts under the Conservative government. Despite announcements of extra funds, and a £20bn boost to the NHS under Theresa May, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned of an £8bn funding black hole by 2025.

Last month, Jeremy Hunt – the longest-serving health secretary in British history – admitted social care cuts went too far on his watch.

On a BBC debate for the Conservative party leadership election, Hunt said: “I think having been responsible for health and social care, that some of the cuts in social care did go too far.”

Ian Hudspeth, chair of the Community and Wellbeing Board at the LGA, said: “I haven’t come across any planning permissions not being put forward in this way but we’re very aware that the social care structure is at a crisis point.”

He pointed to a recent report by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services which reported that almost half of councils have seen the closure of domestic home care providers in their area in the past year and a third had seen residential care homes closed, collectively affecting more than 8,000 clients and residents.

“There have been instances of care homes going out of business without warning and immediate pressure being put on local authorities to provide care and accommodation for their residents,” he added.


Green was speaking at a debate on Tackling Britain’s Care Crisis at the Resolution Foundation alongside Liz Kendall MP, former shadow minister for care, Norman Lamb MP, former minister for care, and David Willetts, president of the Intergenerational Centre.

All of the speakers called for a cross-party consensus on how to fund social care. There was wide agreement for a year-long programme of citizens’ assemblies and town hall meetings so the public could have their say.

Kendall said it was “absolutely a national imperative” that politicians create a cross-party consensus.

Lamb agreed, lambasting the current system as “completely dysfunctional”. It “fails people completely”, he said, criticising the government for failing to produce the long-awaited green paper.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said :

“People deserve to have a choice of high-quality care services wherever they live in the country. Local authorities are best placed to understand and plan for the care needs of their populations and are responsible for shaping their local markets so they are sustainable, diverse and offer high-quality care and support for local people.

“We have given local authorities access to up to £3.9bn more dedicated funding for adult social care this year with a further £410m available for adults’ and children’s services. We will set out our plans to reform the social care system at the earliest opportunity to ensure it is sustainable for the future.”
Care UK's private equity owners blew £2.5 million on the failed sale of the care services business.


The private equity owners of Care UK spent millions on a failed attempt to sell it.

Bridgepoint was reported last year to have appointed investment bank Rothschild to handle the sale of the care services business.

The company was not sold but accounts reveal that legal and professional costs still hit £2.5 million.


Notes in the accounts under the heading 'abortive transaction costs' state: 'Care UK conducted an evaluation of strategic options ... of both the health care and residential care businesses.'

Care UK – bought by Bridgepoint in 2010 for £420 million – operates 114 care homes.


It is also the biggest provider of outsourced NHS services with more than 18 million patients a year using its NHS treatment centres and out-of-hours services.

In the year to September 30, 2018, Care UK had revenues of £684.7 million but made pre-tax losses of £45.2 million due to expenses and debt costs.
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