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'Appalled' inspectors evacuate care home

Elderly and brain injured young people placed at risk due to poor care and lack of staffing

Mark Gould

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Care Quality Commission inspectors stepped in to order the immediate closure of a private nursing home which provided nursing care for old people and for young people with specialised needs due to Acquired Brain Injury, following serious concerns about the inadequacy of the service and the risks it presented to people using it.

The CQC inspection found that some residents of Old Village School Nursing Home in Bedfordshire were not being properly fed or receiving the medications while reports of suspected abuse were not always reported to the safeguarding authority. People were left without call bells, some were left for up to 20 minutes without attention when calling for it, and staff levels were very low.

Over last Friday and Saturday, CQC inspectors, Bedfordshire Council, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) moved residents out of the home and into alternative accommodation "for their own safety".

The home, run by Old Village Care Limited, was rated as "Inadequate" and placed into special measures after CQC carried out an unannounced inspection in June this year in response to concerns about the quality of care.

CQC chief inspector of Adult Social Care, Andrea Sutcliffe, said: "The responsibility for the failings at The Old Village School Nursing Home rests squarely with the owners of this service. They completely let down the people they were meant to be caring for and should be ashamed of themselves."

People expressed concerns about the care they received with one person telling CQC inspectors: "The care here is nil, management is to blame." One nurse said: "The skill mix here is all wrong. There is inadequate staffing and one trained nurse cannot manage this." Another staff member added: "We are pulled in all directions and sometimes don't know what we should be doing."

The CQC carried out another inspection earlier this month to check whether the required improvements had been made. As a result of this and further findings – which the regulator will publish as soon as it is able to – the CQC has taken action to prevent the nursing home from being able to accommodate residents in the interests of their safety.

Andrea Sutcliffe added: "The examples of deteriorating care in this case, many of which we are unable to report on until the legal process is fully complete, are simply dreadful and I am appalled that the provider allowed the situation to get this bad.

"When we rated The Old Village School Nursing Home as Inadequate, we were very clear what was needed to improve the care for people living there as we want services to improve.

"Taking action to move people from their home urgently as a last resort is always a difficult judgement. It is our expectation that providers should use our inspection reports to get to grips with their problems and ensure they sort them out.

"But when people's safety and quality of life are judged to be more at risk by staying than moving, we have no option but to use our powers to intervene.

"I fully understand the distress and feelings of anger that this causes but I firmly believe this is the right thing for people and their families as everyone should have safe, high-quality and compassionate care. As the regulator, we are always on their side."

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