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Specialist Preston care home for autistic people placed in special measures after health inspectors find 'resident was placed in headlock'

Mather Fold House, Higher Walton
Mather Fold House, Higher Walton
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A specialist care home for autistic people has been placed in special measures after an inspection found that one resident was placed in a headlock by a member of staff.

Mather Fold House in Higher Walton, Hoghton, was slammed by inspectors from England’s healthcare regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), after an unannounced visit in July.

Mather Fold House, Higher Walton

Mather Fold House, Higher Walton

The home was given an Inadequate rating in the report released in late August, as well as placed into special measures, with inspectors stating that “people were exposed to risks of abuse and improper treatment”.

A number of incidents were documented by inspectors, including a staff member being revealed to have put a resident in a headlock – something the CQC described as “an inappropriate form of restraint”.

Another incident was documented, showing how a staff member forced a person to have a shower against their will.

A third revealed how a staff member had “deliberately” altered a resident’s daily routine, upsetting them.

Inspectors said such an action to people who live with a learning disability like autism “can [cause] distress or disruptions to their way of life”.

A spokesperson for the home said: “We take the issues raised by the CQC very seriously and have already implemented a comprehensive action plan to help drive immediate improvements to the service in line with the CQC’s recommendations.

“We are also investigating a number of specific matters that the CQC raised in their report.

“A new and experienced manager has been appointed at Mather Fold and staff are undertaking specialist enhanced training. The safety and wellbeing of our residents remains our utmost priority.”

The overall report rates the home as being Inadequate for safety and being well-led and Requires Improvement in regards to effectiveness, care, and responsiveness.

In total there were eight breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.

At the moment the CQC is considering what action it will be taking in relation to the breaches.