May 15, 2022 7.00 am

Care provider complains to CQC after report deems Lincolnshire care home unsafe

It has scored below ‘good’ for six inspections running

A care home in Barton-upon-Humber, accused of a “lack of oversight” to improve after its sixth consecutive below ‘good’ rating from the CQC, has lodged a complaint and accused the care body of deflecting from its own failures.

An inspection into The Willows care home in Barton-upon-Humber took place on February 8, 2022, with the report being published three months later on May 7.

It acknowledged the home’s credentials in the caring and responsive categories, but deemed The Willows to be unsafe, requiring improvement for its effectiveness and being inadequately led.

The Willows is a care home for those who require nursing or personal care, dealing with adults over 65, dementia sufferers and those with learning disabilities.

This ‘inadequate’ rating follows on from the same score given at the last inspection, published in December 2021, and it was the sixth consecutive inspection that the service was rated below good.

Concerns were raised surrounding the administration of medicines, as well as what the Care Quality Commission deem to be a lack of infection prevention and control measures to prevent the spread and threat of coronavirus in the care home.

These practices were “not robust” according to the report, and placed people and staff at risk of spread of infection, while medicines were not managed safely despite numerous assurances from the provider.

In response to the report, a spokesperson for ADL Plc, the care provider in charge of The Willows, said a new home manager had started this week so changes were being made, but said they weren’t entirely satisfied the CQC findings were totally accurate.

They accused the CQC of ‘trying to deflect’ from issues surrounding the care home industry during the pandemic, namely the High Court ruling the government acted unlawfully by sending patients into homes without testing them for COVID-19.

The report also suggested staff were not being given adequate inductions, training or supervision to ensure they were skilled enough to support their patients.

The care provider for The Willows responded to that by telling The Lincolnite: “I feel we need to congratulate the staff under difficult circumstances, as they are never taken into account by these reports. We are always working with short staff numbers but the CQC take no notice.

“We asked the CQC for advice on staff shortages during the pandemic, to which they told us not to move staff around our care homes or else we will be fined.”

ADL Plc, which runs 21 care homes across the country, has vowed to ‘fight’ the report’s findings and says all patients in the care home are happy and well fed.

This most recent inspection has resulted in the CQC keeping The Willows under special measures, meaning it will remain under review for re-inspection within six months.

In adult social care services, a provider can be taken off special measures if it no longer rates inadequate in any of the five key category questions, which are safety, effectiveness, caring levels, responsiveness and ability to lead.