Northumberland care home placed in special measures

Northumberland Gazette latest
Northumberland Gazette latest

A north Northumberland care home is in special measures after being rated inadequate by the independent regulator.

Grovehood House, in South Charlton, was inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in May, with the critical report published last week.

In terms of the CQC’s five criteria, the family-owned home, which had 25 residents at the time of the inspection, was deemed inadequate in terms of being safe and well-led and as requires improvement for being caring, effective and responsive.

Concerns related to checks of the premises and equipment, storage of medicines, record-keeping and safe recruitment.

One of the managers, Ayman Bakr, admitted they are ‘extremely upset’ at the report.

He said: “There were certain issues raised in terms of the paperwork side of things and environmental checks which we feel is the priority now with the CQC.

“Reading between the lines, there were lots of positives in terms of the care our residents receive.

“The residents’ families are very supportive of us – we have obviously informed them of the report.

“But we know we need to make changes.”

Mr Bakr added that a leading care-home management company, Careport Advisory Services, is going to carry out a comprehensive review and help the Grovewood team ‘respond to where the CQC has said we are failing’.

“There are a number of things we have already addressed and the others we are starting to put in place to ensure that when the inspector returns in the next six months, we will show that we are the caring home that we have always tried to be.”

Debbie Westhead, deputy chief inspector for adult social care for the CQC, said: “People are entitled to services which provide safe, effective, responsive and high-quality care. We found that the care provided at Grovewood House fell a long way short of what we expect services to provide.

“We inspected this home in March last year and told them where they needed to improve. Although there was improvement action taken when CQC pointed issues out at this inspection, it is disappointing that some of the same issues remain since the previous inspection, and also worrying that we found fresh concerns.

“The safety of people using these services was not being met on a basic level. Checks and tests on equipment and the home itself were not being undertaken putting people at risk.

“We were concerned that one person had sustained an unobserved injury and records relating to the incident were not detailed. There was no recorded investigation into how it might have happened and what could be done to avoid it happening to this person or others in future.

“Although staff were respectful in their approach to people, their privacy and dignity was not always respected. There was no blind in a bathroom on the first floor which overlooked the main entrance and washable chair protection pads were placed over some armchair cushions in case of incontinence. This could draw people’s attention to the potential problem and compromise the dignity of people using the service.

“We are working with partners including Northumberland County Council to ensure the safety of people using this service.”