Wednesday, 9 November 2011

CQC to protect residents of a new care home in Dorset

On the 2nd November 2011, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) released the following press release relating to care provided in a nursing home in Dorset:

The Care Quality Commission is taking action to protect the safety and welfare of people living in a new nursing home at Gillingham in Dorset.

In a report which is published today, CQC inspectors identify a series of concerns found at Gillingham Grange. CQC is working closely with Dorset County Council to ensure people are not at immediate risk of harm.

Inspectors found that the provider, European Care (Gillingham) Limited was failing to meet eight government standards of quality and safety, covering care and welfare, nutrition, staffing, staff training, suitability of equipment, safeguarding arrangements and the monitoring of the quality of service provided. By law, providers of care services must ensure that they are meeting all standards.

Inspectors have made four unannounced visits to the nursing home since a number of concerns were raised in July under Dorset's safeguarding procedures.

Gillingham Grange has stopped new admissions. Dorset County Council has been visiting twice a week and CQC has continued to monitor the home to ensure that the 12 people living there are protected and that there are no further admissions to the home. CQC has a range of legal powers it can use to protect people.

At the end of last week CQC inspectors went unannounced to the home to check again. They found that there have been improvements but some more work still needs to be done.

The report which is published today on the CQC website lists a series of concerns found during inspections in July and August. Concerns can be found below.

Meeting nutritional needs

Inspectors found that the home was failing to provide people with adequate support to enable them to eat and drink what they needed or to take action where malnutrition was suspected. In July, records showed that five of the residents had lost weight. One man who had been admitted for respite care lost approximately seven kilograms in 10 days, after missing meals and being offered the wrong food, even though the home had been told about his specific needs to help him eat. Families of two people had started to come in to the home to help feed their relatives.


The providers had not ensured that there were enough staff on duty to meet the dependency needs of people. Even after concerns were raised about the care and welfare of people at the home, the company reduced staffing further. During the review they increased staffing levels again, but there was an over reliance on agency staff and frequent occasions when there were not enough people to cover the rotas. Staff told how they frequently had to leave people who were anxious or distressed because another person needed support.


The report says that some equipment was not suitable to meet people's needs or promote their comfort and independence. Inspectors said that while some people were nursed on pressure relieving mattresses others did not have the equivalent pressure relieving cushions for their chairs. Some people were being nursed in bed and had recurrent falls from bed because they did not have the recommended specialist chairs that would enable them to sit out of bed and leave their rooms. Some people had bedrails without cushioned bumpers so they risked, or had sustained, injuries to limbs.

Care and welfare of people

Inspectors found that the planning and delivery of care did not meet people's individual needs. Proper steps were not being taken to ensure the welfare and safety of people living in the home and there was evidence of deterioration in people's health and wellbeing.


There had been recurrent safeguarding alerts about the care and welfare of people living in the home. The home was failing to recognise potential abuse or respond appropriately to allegations. Staff were not completely clear about what constituted abuse and how incidents should be managed.

Ian Biggs, Regional Director of CQC in the South West said: “The standards of care we have found at Gillingham Grange were worrying.

"We saw several people who were mentally frail, but physically mobile, yet they were not always supervised and so they were at risk because they were not given the help and attention that they obviously needed to protect them from harm.

"Families have told us that they saw that staff were very busy running around, but despite this the company cut back on the staff available. The failure to help people with their food and drink is alarming but it is even more disturbing when you consider that many of the residents are frail, vulnerable people who are the least able to draw attention to this.

“We need to ensure that people living at these homes are not at any immediate risk of harm, which is why we have been working closely with Dorset Council and monitoring this home closely.

“We have received an immediate undertaking from European Care that they will not admit more people to this nursing home while these improvements are being addressed. We will continue to monitor this service very closely to ensure this happens.

“Our inspectors have already returned to Gillingham Grange. At our most recent visit on Friday 28 October we found that improvements had been made. We will inspect again in the near future and if we find that the home is not making progress we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers on behalf of the people who live there.”

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