Blackburn care home slammed as Inadequate by Care Quality Commission inspectors

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The care home provides personal help for up to 25 people.

A Blackburn care home has been slammed by the Care Quality Commission in its latest inspection.

A report issued on March 1 states that Sandybrook in Sandy Lane, Lower Darwen, was not safe, not well-led, not always responsive, not always caring, and not always effective. The home, run by Prime Lime Ltd, has been placed into Special Measures.

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What did the inspectors find?

Inspectors found a host of concerns, including:

● People's dietary needs were not always correctly recorded and that meant that inspectors couldn't always be assured people were receiving the appropriate diet to meet their needs.

● Some people who were cared for in bed didn't have a sensor mat in place and their bedroom doors were closed with a key required to enter - so if they were to fall, staff might not know for two hours or more.

Get the latest headlines, straight to your inbox, with The LEP’s free emails ● The provider did not always operate safe recruitment processes and the provider failed to ensure sufficient staffing levels were in place. Inspectors commented: "During our inspection we found staff (were) not always easy to locate, any people were sat in the lounge and staff were not always present".

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● Medicines were not always safely managed, and people were placed at risk. Pill counts did not always match records, which meant inspectors were not sure people had always received their medicines as prescribed.

Sandybrook, Sandy Lane, Lower DarwenSandybrook, Sandy Lane, Lower Darwen
Sandybrook, Sandy Lane, Lower Darwen | Google

● Infection prevention practices were not always safe. The report states that communal toiletries were found in communal bathrooms, with someone's underwear left in one. One bathroom did not have any soap in the dispenser when checked on day one and two of the inspection.

● The design and decoration of the home didn't always meet people's needs. Inspectors found paint in unlocked rooms/cupboards and wardrobes were not secured to any walls in any of the bedrooms looked at. They also said that various rooms needed maintenance, for example one ceiling in an ensuite was in disrepair, some taps in ensuites were loose and a light in an ensuite was not working. ● The provider failed to ensure people had access to meaningful and stimulating activities on a regular basis.


Some positives were identified in the report. They include that people were supported to eat a healthy and balanced diet and people were safeguarded from abuse and avoidable harm. Inspectors were able to review safeguarding records and a safeguarding policy was in place. People told inspectors they felt safe, one person said: "I am safe and cared for, although I do most things for myself."

What happens next?

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The CQC will request an action plan from the provider to understand what they will do to improve the standards, and the home will be re-inspected within 6 months to check for significant improvements. If that is not found, enforcement action can begin, which ultimately could lead to the service being deregistered. Prime Life Ltd

A spokesman for Prime Life Ltd said: "Obviously we are very disappointed at the outcome of the CQC inspection at Sandybrook House, and following a period of management instability. What I would say is that with new management in place and a team of regional supervisors to support, we are addressing those concerns raised by inspectors and working through an action plan to evidence improvements in any areas deemed deficient. These improvements are on course and have been shared with contract management teams."

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