Ampthill care home put in special measures rated as inadequate for a second time by Care Quality Commission

Agate House was inspected in May and June after it was placed under special measures in October 2021.

Friday, 5th August 2022, 3:36 pm

A care home in Ampthill, Bedfordshire has been deemed inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for a second time.

Agate House, which provides care to people with physical disabilities, some who have learning disabilities or autism, was rated inadequate for being safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led.

The service was previously rated inadequate and placed in special measures following an inspection in October 2021.

Agate House (pictured) was previously rated inadequate and placed in special measures after an inspection in October last year.

The care home is run by Leonard Cheshire Disability which says ensuring that its residents are safe, happy and well is always its top priority and that staff are receiving additional training.

A spokesperson for Leonard Cheshire said: “We recognise that improvements at Agate House are necessary so that people receive the best care and support, tailored to their interests and needs.”

The previous inspection identified concerns with its staffing levels and the standards of care it provided to people.

The latest inspection assessed whether improvements had been made – but found the service was still inadequate.

There were still not enough staff to safely meet people’s needs, and people weren’t supported to live independent and fulfilling lives, the report said.

Louise Broddle, CQC head of inspection for adult social care, said: “We found people spent large amounts of time alone and were left waiting for meals or personal care because there wasn’t enough staff to support them. People didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy activities or interests that would add meaning to their lives and were at risk of becoming socially isolated.”

She added people’s privacy wasn’t respected, and they were not treated with dignity.

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She said: “One person told us that staff wouldn’t listen to her, so she became frustrated. People were also frustrated that staff couldn’t always understand them due to lack of training, and their preferred ways of communicating weren’t always used.”

She explained that there was a lack of person-centred care and people living at Agate House didn’t always receive kind and compassionate care.

Louise added: “Staff moved people in wheelchairs or put aprons around them without explaining what they were going to do.”

Inspectors also found people were often left feeling bored due to a lack of meaningful activity or interaction. One person told CQC that unless a relative came to visit, they would be left in front of the television.

However, some staff members spoke about people in a kind and compassionate way and knew them as individuals.

People were able to personalise their bedrooms to promote their individuality, and they were able to make some daily choices such as what to eat and drink.

If Agate House does not make significant improvements, enforcement action will be taken by the CQC, which could lead to the closure of the service.

The Leonard Cheshire spokesman added: “Since the inspection, a dedicated team has been in place on-site to deliver widespread improvements as part of a comprehensive response to the inspection findings.

“Like many social care providers, we face challenges recruiting and retaining staff in some locations. We are working with a new agency to improve this situation. We have met with residents and their families to discuss the report and provide updates on the positive changes being made.”