A care home in Bourne was placed in special measures and given an overall rating of ‘Inadequate’ after an inspection which highlighted resident risks including dehydration and choking – but the home says issues were ‘exaggerated’.
A CQC inspector visited Chevington House on North Road in Bourne on January 16, 2019. The home is run by Wellbeing Residential Ltd and provides accommodation and personal care for up to 16 older adults and people living with dementia.
In addition to being placed in special measures, urgent enforcement action was taken to restrict new referrals to the home via the intermediary transitional care service.
The home issued a statement to Lincolnshire Reporter in which it said it felt “the views of risks from the inspector had been grossly exaggerated in our opinion”.
At a previous inspection, the home was rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ with a reported published in September 2017. The latest inspection was scheduled based on the rating from the previous visit.
After January’s inspection a report was published in April 2019 stating that the home is Inadequate in the ‘safe’ and ‘well-led’ categories. It was also deemed that it Requires Improvement in relation to how ‘effective’, ‘caring’ and ‘responsive’ it is.
Four people, three care staff, the chef, the registered manager and the operations manager were spoken to during the inspections, along with a visiting health professional. Records relating to the care of six people were also reviewed.
People were found to be at risk of becoming dehydrated. One person had an indwelling urinary catheter and was at higher risk of dehydration, but the registered provider did not monitor or record how much they drank. There was also no guidance within their care plan about this issue.
Risks were also found relating to swallowing and choking not being managed. Care plans for one person were contradictory to the advice provided by the speech and language therapist. The report said this placed the person at risk of avoidable harm.
People were also at risk of harm because staff did not administer medicines safely. The report also stated that the registered providers approach to safety and governance “had deteriorated since the last inspection”.
Although several concerns were highlighted there were some positives noted such as people being cared for by staff who were kind and compassionate.
CQC were approached for a comment, but did not supply one by the time of publication.
Chevington House issued a statement: “It is with huge disappointment and tremendous heartache that we find ourselves responding to concerns raised by our CQC Inspector.
“After 12 years of caring for the people of Bourne with great success we find ourselves at the mercy of the views of one inspector. The view of risks from the inspector had been grossly exaggerated in our opinion, and these were not shared by the professionals that support our residents including the GPs, nurses, therapists, the local authority and most importantly of the people we care for and their families.
“At Chevington we have always been recognised for providing a unique homely environment with only 16 beds. Of these 16 beds, three were contracted to the Transitional Care Teams who support older people move out from hospital back home, this often involves a short stay with re-enablement care provided by us. It was the planning of care through our relatively new electronic care planning system that had not been utilised effectively for these specific placements that created the concern.
“All the points raised on the day of the inspection that were identified as risks, had within 48 hours been dealt with.
“Therefore it was deeply distressing and unreasonable to have taken any enforcement action after the event; we had already demonstrated that any potential risks highlighted had been dealt with.”
The statement also asks people to read the home’s reviews on carehome.co.uk and speak to the people it cares for.
“As a small company we do not have the financial capability to legally challenge this situation, and hope that the public’s perception of our loving care home is not tarnished.
“We apologise to our residents and their families who have been extremely supportive to the staff and management through this debacle.”
The home praised the county council for its support and has also requested that the enforcement is lifted for May 12, 2019 by ending the transitional contract. It said it no longer wishes to be “under enforcement and special measures unreasonably and unfairly”.
County Manager for Adult Care at Lincolnshire County Council Paul Bassett said: “We continue to scrutinise all care homes to ensure residents receive care and support that is safe and personalised to their needs.
“Where issues are highlighted we work with the care home to ensure these are addressed, in this instance we have supported Chevington House to make certain changes and improvements have been made.”
Requested action plan
CQC requested an action plan and evidence of improvement in the service. CQC will continue to monitor the service, who it asked to send mostly reports about ongoing improvements to safety and governance of service.
CQC said the registered provider complied with this and has been ‘submitting regular reports’ to them.
If not enough improvement is made within an agreed timeframe CQC will act in line with its enforcement procedures. This would mean beginning the process of preventing the provider from operating this service.