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‘Unclean’ and short-staffed care home placed into special measures

‘Unclean’ and short-staffed care home placed into special measures

Concerns about staffing and infection risks have seen a care home in Norfolk placed into special measures by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The healthcare watchdog has dropped the rating for Amberley Hall Care Home from ‘good’ to ‘inadequate’ following an inspection in July 2023.

Inspectors found there was ‘not enough staff to meet people’s needs’ and that staffing issues also meant the team was ‘unable to provide personal care to protect people’s dignity in a timely way’.

Residents at the care home, which provides nursing and residential care for up to 106 people, were found by inspectors with ‘unclean nails and teeth because there weren’t enough staff to support them’, said Gill Hodgson-Reilly, CQC deputy director of operations in the East of England.

In addition, she warned ‘parts of the home were unclean and smelled unpleasant, raising people’s risk of infection’.

‘When we inspected Amberley Hall Care Home, we were disappointed to find people weren’t always being supported to live in a safe and dignified way and leaders hadn’t ensured staff knew how to meet people’s specific needs, particularly those of people living with dementia,’ she said following the CQC’s inspection report published this month.

The home environment also ‘allowed unsupervised access to items that could be dangerous, particularly for people with dementia, such as razors, denture cleaning tablets, personal care products, and staff’s personal possessions’, noted Ms Hodgson-Reilly.

Inspectors also reported ‘multiple safeguarding incidents’ and that people ‘weren’t always being supported in the least restrictive ways possible’.

The CQC pledged to ‘monitor the service closely to ensure improvements are made and won’t hesitate to take further action if we’re not assured people are receiving safe and dignified care’.

As well as the service dropping from ‘good’ to ‘inadequate’ overall, it has also dropped from ‘good’ to ‘inadequate’ for being safe and well-led. This inspection did not rate how effective, caring and responsive the service was so these remained rated as ‘good’.

The inspection at Amberley Hall Care Home, which is run by Athena Care Homes (Gaywood) Limited, prompted by concerns CQC received about people’s needs not being met in a safe and timely way.

A recent analysis by Nursing in Practice explored how the nursing provision in care homes across the country has been hit by funding issues, poor pay and negative perceptions of the sector.

Nursing in Practice has approached Athena Care Homes for comment.

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