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  • Sarah Whitebloom


Forty per cent of care homes for older people failed their Care Quality Commission inspections in the first days of June, OlderLivingMatters research reveals. That is eight a day.

Two hundred and twenty eight reports on such homes were published by the CQC from the beginning of the month until 11 June. Of these, a massive 35 per cent were failing and ‘Required Improvement’ in at least two major areas. A further five per cent were given the worst marks possible - ‘Inadequate’ – by the CQC’s teams of inspectors. Only two homes – less than one per cent of the total - were awarded an ‘Outstanding’ grade.

Under the CQC inspection regime, care homes are awarded a rating – the same as are given to schools: Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate. But, unlike schools, these homes – which care for our most elderly and vulnerable citizens - are failing inspections time and again. Some having years of ‘bad reports’ behind them.

These homes have a range of failings. But, worryingly, among the most frequent are fundamental concerns over safety – which often relates to understaffing – and bad record keeping, which is essential to the well-being of residents. The 12 care homes deemed to be ‘Inadequate’ in the reports published the first 11 days of June are:

  • St Winifred’s – Brighouse – failed three inspections since 2015;

  • Chaldon Rise – Redhill

  • Manor Farm – Lowestoft

  • Valley View – Blaydon on Tyne – second negative report since 2016;

  • Stradbroke Court – Lowestoft – second negative (and worse) report in months;

  • Alexander Court – Dagenham – second negative (and worse) report in months;

  • Grove Villa Care – Deal;

  • The Woodlands – Mansfield;

  • Charnley House – Hyde – second Inadequate rating in a few months;

  • Belle Vue – Paignton – third Inadequate rating, fourth negative report since 2015;

  • Ambleside – Luton – second negative inspection in a few months;

  • Devonshire House – Plymouth – second negative (and worse) report.

In several instances, homes were found not to have sufficient staff.

We found there were not enough staff on duty to keep people safe and meet their needs,’ St Winifred’s inspectors.

There were not always enough staff deployed in the service provide safe care to people,’ Chaldon Rise.

Most people, relatives, staff and external professionals we spoke with told us there were not enough staff to meet people’s needs,’ Valley View.

Meanwhile, at Grove Villa: ‘The culture of the service, was one that staff 'did for' people rather than ‘with them’, which is in contrary to best practice.’

The CQC’s reports often show a history of intervention, with the regulator returning time and again to homes to oversee and demand improvement. But concerns must be voiced over the safety and well-being of older people in those homes. While the regulator takes years, in some cases, to bring homes up to standard, frail and vulnerable residents are left at risk and potentially subject to neglect and abuse. And the CQC was clearly firefighting in several cases, where either the situation worsened during the process or homes developed new problems.

Inspectors recognised the potential risk to residents. In the report on Stradbroke Court, they wrote: ‘Due to a number of concerns raised about the service we brought forward this scheduled inspection so we could check that people were receiving safe care. At this inspection, we found people's safety and well-being was being compromised in a number of areas.

The Woodlands inspectors noted in the latest report: ‘People were still not protected from the risk of abuse.’

Meanwhile, the Charnley report reveals: ‘At this inspection although we found some improvements had been made we found on-going and multiple breaches of the regulations.’

In other reports, inspectors noted serious concerns.

People were put at risk of significant harm in the absence of clear records and assessments.’ (Manor Farm)

At Devonshire House the report states: ‘During the inspection, we were informed the police were undertaking an investigation into unexplained bruising sustained by one person.’

At Belle Vue: ‘Some residents were found to be ‘disengaged and under stimulated....People were exposed to risk of harm.'

Meanwhile, at Ambleside: ‘During this inspection we identified that there were breaches of a number of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.’

These are just the homes deemed bad enough to warrant an Inadequate rating, a further 79 homes were awarded the second worst grade – Requires Improvement. And this was just the first 11 days of June.

Those Requiring Improvement are not in the same category as the previous dozen. But, inspectors found, they needed to improve. They come from the length and breadth of the country. They include:

  • Threeways – Seaford

  • Highfields – Nottingham

  • Copperfield House – Epsom

  • Tynefield Care – Derby

  • Brownhills – Walsall

  • Piper Court – Stockton on Tees

  • Deneside Court – Jarrow

  • Vicarage Residential Home – Plymouth

  • Thistle Hill – Knaresborough

  • Scotia Heights – Stoke on Trent

  • Hillcroft – Slyne with Hest

  • Thornton Hall – Crosby

  • Briarscroft – Birmingham

  • Abbeville Lodge – Great Yarmouth

  • Abbeville Sands – Great Yarmouth

  • Donisthorpe Hall – Leeds

  • Kingfisher Lodge – Bath

  • Hodge Hill Grange – Birmingham

  • Sutton Hall – Keighley

  • The Orchard – St Albans

  • Lime Grove – East Horsley

  • Whitewaves – Selsey

  • Arbury Lodge – Nuneaton

  • Giltbrook – Nottingham

  • Hawksyard Priory – Rugeley

  • Prince Michael of Kent Court – Watford

  • Filsham Lodge – Hailsham

  • The Magnolia Care Home – Leicester

  • Kingston House – Calne

  • St James House – Darwen

  • Elmbridge – Glos

  • West Cliff Hall – Southampton

  • James Dixon Court – Liverpool

  • Cumnor Hill House – Cumnor

  • The Old Manor House – Penzance

  • Pine Trees – Hayle

  • Jerome House – London NW2

  • St Marks – Clacton on Sea

  • Abbey Hey – Oldham

  • Grove House – Chesterfield

  • Kara House – Sale

  • Edge Hill rest home – Oldham

  • Alexandra Court – Hull

  • Coniston Lodge – Feltham

  • Ivybank – Birmingham

  • Merrydale – Ryde

  • West Villa – Wakefield

  • St Anne’s – Plymouth

  • Qumran – Newquay

  • Gold Hill – Malvern

  • Weston Park – Macclesfield

  • The Old Rectory – Breaston

  • Wykeham House – Horley

  • Chalfont Lodge – Chalfont St Peter

  • Castleford Lodge – Castleford

  • The Elms – Hull

  • Merrill House – Derby

  • Montague House – Ramsgate

  • Solent View – East Cowes

  • Swanton House – Swanton Novers

  • Westvale House – Warrington

  • Paddock Lodge – Huddersfield

  • Wirral Christian Centre – Birkenhead

  • Watford House – Lichfield

  • Birkdale Park – Southport

  • St Albans House – Deal

  • Station Court – Ashington

  • Derwent Lodge – Feltham

  • Stainbridge House – Malmesbury

  • Bournville Grange – Birmingham

  • Ashwood – Ware

  • Brook House – London SE28

  • Hilltop Hall – Stockport

  • The Chase – Eastbourne

  • Eldonian – Liverpool

  • Wellburn House – Prudoe

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