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  • Sarah Whitebloom

Vulnerable residents at risk as more than half of care homes fail official inspections

The rate at which care homes in England are failing official inspections has topped 50 per cent in the last week – with safety of vulnerable and elderly residents the main concern.

Back in June, OLM reported that concerns were being raised over 40 per cent of care homes. But reports released by the Care Quality Commission in the last few days show, that in the week to 13 September, more care homes failed to meet inspection standards than passed

Richmond Court and Acorn Lodge - Worst Care homes of the week


Fewer than half of the homes were found to be ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ while more than 55 per cent were judged to be ‘Inadequate’ or ‘Required Improvement’. Four times as many homes received the bottom rating compared with homes receiving the best report.

Altogether 50 out of 104 facilities inspected by CQC teams ‘Required Improvement’ while more than one a day - eight - received the worst possible mark of ‘Inadequate’. These were:

  • Victoria House, Warrington,

  • Abbeygate Residential Home, Winchester,

  • White Lodge, Margate,

  • Richmond Court, Wolverhampton,

  • Thomas Owen House, Dewsbury,

  • Southfield Court, Huddersfield,r

  • Ashlyn, Harlow,

  • Acorn Lodge, Braintree.

Richmond Court, which caters for dementia sufferers, and Acorn Lodge, which also caters for people with brain injury, have the highly-dubious honour of being OLM’s first Worst Homes of the Week.

CQC inspectors found they both fell significantly short in the same three key areas – Safety, Responsiveness and Leadership. And they were also found wanting in terms of Caring and Effectiveness.

Richmond Court’s report states: ‘People did not receive care that meet their individual needs. People were not supported to have choice and control of their daily lives and were not encouraged to make decisions that reflected their preferences. There was a feeling of resignation amongst the people we spoke with who felt staff made choices on their behalf which had a detrimental effect on the quality of their lives.’

Meanwhile, at Acorn Lodge, inspectors found: ‘People did not receive safe and responsive care. People were not protected from being cared for by unsuitable staff because robust recruitment procedures were not in place and operated effectively. We found there was inadequate numbers of skilled and knowledgeable staff employed with a command of English which would enable them to understand and respond to people’s health, welfare and safety needs.’

Of the 46 facilities which received a ‘Good’ rating from inspectors, only two were judged to be ‘Outstanding’:

  • Silk Court, Bethnal Green,

  • Bucklesham Grange, Ipswich.

Although Silk Court is run by a large care home group, Anchor Trust, a majority of facilities operated by big ‘corporate’ care providers received poor reports. Homes run by Barchester and Tamaris (owned by Four Seasons) failed their inspections while Bupa received positive and negative reports.

See the CQC reports in full here.

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