Another good home closes

Posted on September 5th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By guest blogger JOHN BURTON

In June I spent an evening and the next day with the residents of a small care home. It’s a really nice place, a family, a little community of five men who have support and friendship from each other and the very small staff group. The best of residential care.

The Care Quality Commission doesn’t agree. Having consistently found it to be compliant and very homely until 2014, CQC reversed their assessment for the next three inspections. Having decided that it was “inadequate” and having removed the manager’s registration, the regulator is now closing the home.

I know that very good homes can deteriorate quickly. Changes of leadership or owner can result in a breakdown of care, and it’s important that the regulator can take action in these situations. If we had a different sort of inspection, where local inspectors keep in close touch with homes and do not depend on – sometimes false – reports from the owners and managers, homes’ would be called to task sooner. With the current ratings system, “good” homes go without inspection for two years or more.

But at this small home in a small coastal town in County Durham, where the residents are full members of their local community and have lived in this “family” for between nine and 19 years, it is not the home that’s changed but the focus of inspection. Yes, this home is still caring and homely, but no, according to its last three inspections, it’s inadequate because its paperwork falls short.

According to CQC the home is “in breach of regulations” on “person-centred care”, “need for consent”, and “safe care and treatment” amongst others. (From what I saw in practice, these are the very areas in which this home excels.) Indeed, apart from the good quality of life, community and relationships that are fully acknowledged by CQC, the home is inadequate on every count.

In spite of employing a local consultancy to get their paperwork in order, the owner and staff still don’t know how to please CQC and to show in their paperwork the brilliant quality of the work that they do. These five men are going to lose their real home, and yet another old-fashioned small care home is going to close.

This is not the purpose of regulation. It is wrong, cruel and unjust.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

One response to “Another good home closes”

  1. Mike says:

    How true exactly the experience we have had to endure this year and after 68 years of excellent care and a tremendous reputation locally. Can we not bring pressure to bear to get CQC to set up Providers Forums where dialogue and early acknowledgement of failings with new or amended system changes are highlighted.

    This story is becoming all too common and it is a serious failing on CQC’s behalf if they do not accept this and make appropriate and fair changes to the inspection processes.

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