Suffolk: Two care homes rated inadequate over safety concerns

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Care home residentsImage source, Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
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The two care homes have been placed in special measures after unannounced inspections

Two care homes in Suffolk have been placed in special measures over concerns for the safety of residents.

Priory Paddocks Nursing Home in Darsham and Highfield House Care Home in Halesworth have been rated "inadequate" by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Both homes told inspectors there had been difficulty recruiting staff.

But residents and their families said staff at both sites were hard-working and caring.

Image source, Google
Image caption,
Priory Paddocks was caring for 30 people when it was inspected in October and November

Inspectors at Priory Paddocks found "incidents of abuse had not always been reported to the local authority who were responsible for investigating".

"We were not assured there were effective systems to keep people safe from harm," the report said.

Staff told inspectors some taps, baths and showers were not working, which meant they had to transport hot water in bowls and buckets.

There were also issues with the call bell alarm system, which operated "intermittently and could not be heard throughout the building".

Inspectors said there had been no staff training or meetings since the start of the pandemic.

Although no one using the service had contracted Covid-19, the report said "infection control processes were not robust".

The manager said the home had decided not to admit any new residents because of issues recruiting new staff.

Image source, Google
Image caption,
Highfield House was caring for 28 people when it was inspected in November

At Highfield House, there was "insufficient staff to meet people's needs", the report said.

Inspectors found medicines were not managed safely, risks to people's health, safety and welfare were not managed effectively and care records were not always accurate.

The report said residents were "mostly protected from the risks associated with the spread of infection, including Covid-19".

A spokesman for Castlemeadow Care, which runs Highfield House, said: "We took immediate action on the concerns raised and, since the inspection, we have addressed the majority of other issues.

"In addition, we have a robust action and improvement plan."

Priory Paddocks has been contacted for comment.

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