Concerns over levels of care in failing care homes

One in five care homes in central Lancashire do not meet all of the essential standards of care set by the health watchdog, the LEP can reveal.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 15th July 2014, 8:37 am

The Evening Post has collated data using inspection reports published by the Care Quality Commission and found that 25 homes are not up to standard and enforcement action has been made against one. The remaining 104 homes are meeting all five inspection areas.

In recent weeks we have reported on a number of care homes that are failing and this prompted us to look at the bigger picture.

Today the CQC’s Debbie Westhead deputy chief inspector of adult social care in the North said: “Any level of poor care is unacceptable.”

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HELPING HAND: Debbie Westhead Deputy Chief Inspector Social Care (North)

Later this year the way care homes are inspected by the watchdog is set to change.

Debbie added: “It is CQC’s role to monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety. “We are publishing the findings of our inspections on our website to help people make better decisions about the care they receive.

“Inspections can be carried out as part of our annual schedule of inspection visits, or in response to concerns.

“From October 2014 CQC’s assessment of quality will move from a simple statement of compliance with basic standards to detailed judgements about the quality of services.

“While previously CQC looked at whether providers were meeting a short list of standards, our new approach is to ‘regulate for quality’.

“We will also begin to rate adult social care services as Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate.

“This will allow the public and commissioners to be clear about our judgments and providers will be left in no doubt if improvements are needed.

“CQC’s inspection teams will look for characteristics of good care. Where those characteristics are found, we will look whether a service is even better, providing outstanding care, and highlight such care for other providers to learn from.

“Where those characteristics are missing, we will tell the provider that it requires improvement and we will carry out a follow up inspection at a later date to check that shortfalls have been addressed.

“Where we find significant concerns we tell the provider that their care is inadequate, and will take action for the provider to improve – this could include criminal prosecution where fundamental standards of care are not being met, or cancelling a provider’s registration with CQC, which means they are no longer able to provide care.”

The Evening Post has

contacted the homes that are not meeting all the essential standards – with several saying they have made improvements since they were inspected.

The one home which has had enforcement action taken against it, Thistleton Lodge in Kirkham, has recently been reinspected and found to be compliant – but this report has not yet been published on the CQC website.

Meanwhile, the owner of one care home said there are issues regarding follow up inspections not being carried out soon enough.

Gillian Wilcock of Ashleigh Residential Home in Ashton said improvements at the home had been made since they were inspected in December but a follow up had not been carried out.

She says there is an “inadequacy” in the follow up from inspections and not updating inspection reports to show the response from care homes.

She added: “This does have a future impact on residential care in Preston.”

A spokesman for Age Concern Central Lancashire said: “Age Concern Central Lancashire would generally advise when searching for a suitable care home to check with CQC that they are meeting the CQC standards of quality and safety, and read any reports that are available.

“To receive recommendations from friends and possibly family members of individuals already staying at the home.

“Make spontaneous visits to the home to see how it runs on a day to day basis, look at how the staff members interact with residents, and finally observe the residents themselves and see whether they appear happy and well cared for.”

If anyone has any concerns about a registered service they can contact CQC on 03000 616161 or by email at: [email protected] Or visit:

To see the full table of care homes in Central Lancashire pick up a copy of today’s paper or subscribe to our tablet apps here