West Norfolk care home put into special measures


A West Norfolk care home has been put into special measures after its services were deemed inadequate in a new report.

Inspectors identified nine separate breaches of health and social care regulations when they visited the Lower Farm Care Home on Grimston Road, South Wootton, last month.

But managers say they have drawn up an action plan to address the concerns raised in the report.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors assessed the home during an unannounced two day visit to the site in early July.

Their report, which was published last Wednesday, rated the home as inadequate for safety and leadership.

The home was also said to require improvement to the quality of its care, the effectiveness of its service and its response to calls for help.

The report followed two previous inspections carried out last year in which the home was said to require improvement.

However, inspectors said issues identified during those assessments had not yet been fully addressed.

The breaches of health and social care legislation identified in the report included a lack of updated fire risk assessments or personal emergency evacuation plans for residents, with no provision for anyone to be evacuated from the first floor.

The report said inspectors called fire officers to visit the home the following day because of their concerns.

It added: “People living at the home were at significant risk in the event of a fire. We told the provider they must take immediate steps to rectify the issue.”

Other concerns included a door to the treatment room being left open and unsupervised, potentially allowing access to medication and failures to ensure call bells were answered promptly.

The report added that a lack of training for mental capacity legislation meant it was also possible that some residents were being deprived of their liberty illegally.

In a statement issued yesterday, the home’s proprietors, Imalgo Ltd, said: “The failings in the CQC report are mainly down to lack of procedures, which Lower Farm will now implement.”

Talks were held between managers and the CQC yesterday to discuss an action plan, which the CQC will now review on a fortnightly basis.

The company said extra staff had now been recruited, reducing their need for agency workers, and an extra 56 care hours a week were being provided to ensure residents’ needs were met promptly.

The statement added: “This will be reviewed on an ongoing basis as the needs of our residents increase.”

The company added that new equipment had been installed and additional training given to staff on evacuation procedures.

A new auditing system for medication and care requirements is also being implemented and the company said residents would be able to make “as many decisions as possible” about their care.