- Sarah Whitebloom
How the other half lives - and is put at risk
When they are good, they seem very very good. But when care homes are bad, they really are horrid – or worse. This week’s CQC reports show a wide gulf between the one in two homes which were awarded ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ marks following inspections and the other half of homes which are failing their vulnerable residents, often putting them at risk.
Two per cent of homes received ‘Outstanding’ marks from the care regulator. But 11% received the worst possible mark – ‘Inadequate’ - and OLM’s Worst homes of the Week are Scarletts of Colchester, which received bad marks across the board. And the joint winner is Summerville, a new BUPA home in Warrington, whose report highlights concerns over staffing levels in ‘Big Five’ care homes.
Summerville’s inspectors said: ‘We undertook an urgent inspection following serious concerns which were sent to the Commission. This unannounced inspection was undertaken at night and we checked on people's safety and welfare. Following this inspection the provider increased their staffing levels at night by one carer as a result of our findings. The provider also confirmed they were not accepting any new admissions.’
The inspectors continued: ‘The registered manager regarded staffing levels to be accurate in meeting people's care needs however, we found the staffing levels were grossly under estimated to enable staff to meet people's care needs.’
More than 70% of the homes given positive reports were awarded good marks in all five areas – Caring, Leadership, Effectiveness, Responsiveness and Safety. But the other 50% of homes have far more chequered stories – with most failing on the fundamental question of ‘Safety’ of residents.