Lancashire care home to close after CQC raises major worries

Lake View Nursing Home in Withnell
Lake View Nursing Home in Withnell
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Concerned families have just weeks to find a new home for their loved ones after a nursing home facing a probe into mistreatment of residents announced it would close.

Relatives say they were given 28 days notice that Lake View Nursing Home, in Withnell, near Chorley, would shut.

Among the residents are 85-year-old Anne Wilkinson.

Her son, Paul, said: “We now have a desperate search to find somewhere else for her to live. Because of her ill health, this move will be potentially very distressing to her.”

Police and Lancashire County Council say there is an investigation into the home, the subject of a damming report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last year.

Another inspection was done this month, but the report has not yet been published.

A spokesman for Embrace, which owns the home, said five staff members had been suspended “following feedback from the CQC”, but refused to provide more information.

Debbie Westhead, from the CQC, said: “We have significant concerns regarding standards of care at Lake View Nursing Home as the home is currently falling a long way short of what we expect services to provide.

“We are proposing to take enforcement action against the provider, but we are unable to provide further details at this time, pending any possibility of appeal by the provider.”

Lake View employs 37 people and has a unit for people with mental health problems associated with dementia.

Embrace says there is a 28-day notice period, but the home will stay open until all 28 residents have alternative care.

A spokesman said: “For some time we have been working hard to improve standards at the home.

“The senior management team has been working closely with the council and the CQC but we have not seen the improvements needed.

“In addition, due to an increased reliance on agency staff, we are not able to guarantee that residents will receive the standard of care they deserve beyond the short to medium term.

“For this reason we have taken the very difficult decision to close the home.

“We will be working closely with residents, family members, the CQC and the council to ensure every resident moves to a home that is best able to meet their individual care needs.”

A police spokesman said they were contacted on January 9 with concerns for the safety of one of the residents.

They added: “We are working with our partners to establish whether it will be subject to a criminal investigation.”

A county council spokesman said: “We are supporting an investigation into the alleged mistreatment of a number of residents at Lake View Nursing Home.

“Together with our colleagues from the NHS and CQC, we have held a meeting with the residents’ families to bring them up to date and to explain the next steps. Every resident now has a social worker or, where appropriate, a health worker, and we are talking to individual residents and their families about the best options for finding suitable alternative accommodation.”