Care home operators should be ashamed of themselves, says watchdog boss

Library image.
Library image.

A watchdog chief has slammed the operators of a shut down care home and said they should be ashamed of themselves.

The Care Quality Commission has warned that it will always take tough action against care providers who fail to do right by their patients.

It comes after the watchdog closed down The Old Village School Nursing Home in Marston Moretaine amid safety fears for the facility’s 50 patients - a mixture of the elderly, younger adults with high care needs including those suffering from brain injuries and those facing the end of life.

Chief Inspector of adult social care at the Care Quality Commission, Andrea Sutcliffe, said: “The examples of deteriorating care in this case, many of which we are unable to report on until the legal process is fully complete, are simply dreadful and I am appalled that the provider allowed the situation to get this bad.

“Taking action to move people from their home urgently as a last resort is always a difficult judgement. It is our expectation that providers should use our inspection reports to get to grips with their problems and ensure they sort them out.

“But when people’s safety and quality of life are judged to be more at risk by staying than moving, we have no option but to use our powers to intervene.

“The responsibility for the failings at The Old Village School Nursing Home rests squarely with the owners of this service.

“They completely let down the people they were meant to be caring for and should be ashamed of themselves.”

Following a surprise inspection of the care home in June, the service was rated inadequate and put into special measures to improve.

The commission carried out a further inspection earlier this month to check whether the required improvements had been made.

As a result of this and further findings – which the regulator will publish as soon as it is able to – watchdog has taken action to prevent the nursing home from being able to accommodate residents in the interests of their safety.

Working with Bedfordshire Council and Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning group, people were moved from the home last Friday and Saturday.

Ms Sutfliffe said: “When we rated The Old Village School Nursing Home as Inadequate, we were very clear what was needed to improve the care for people living there as we want services to improve.

“I fully understand the distress and feelings of anger that this causes but I firmly believe this is the right thing for people and their families as everyone should have safe, high-quality and compassionate care. As the regulator, we are always on their side.”

A spokesperson for the service operators said: “Following the removal of registration, we have had no choice other than to close the home.

We have been working with other stakeholders to ensure a smooth process in relocating residents. We can confirm this process is now complete, with all residents relocated to other homes.

“It is with deep regret that the home has closed. We have worked closely with the CQC and CCG throughout the process and have done all we can to find a resolution. We are very saddened by this outcome.”

>For our previous report on the care home closure click here