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Swaffham care home out of Special Measures as improvement noted under new manager

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A market town care home is no longer in Special Measures and has been moved up to 'requires improvement' in its latest inspection report.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected the Iceni House in Swaffham on September 24, and has moved it from 'inadequate' from an inspection in February 2020 to 'requires improvement'.

Since the last inspection a new registered manager, Dawn Bunter, had been appointed at the Jack Boddy Way home, while poor performing staff had left or been dismissed.

Iceni House Care Centre in Swaffham
Iceni House Care Centre in Swaffham

The CQC deemed the home to be 'good' for being Safe, Effective and Well-led, but stated the Caring and Responsive categories 'requires improvement' based on calculations from the previous inspection.

During the inspection in February, the CQC noted there were "multiple breaches of regulation" and an action plan was requested as a result.

The home has continued to send in a monthly action plan to the CQC and is now out of Special Measures for the first time since late November 2019.

The latest CQC inspection report, published on Friday, states: "The culture within the service had improved and staff were open and transparent. Staff understood their responsibilities and were held accountable as necessary.

"Staff were appropriately trained to recognise abuse and challenge poor practice. Families commented on the openness and approachability of staff and said poor performing staff had left or been dismissed."

It also noted the service has been cleaned to "very high standards" and staff have been "proactive" in acting on feedback and consulting family members.

Team leaders have been appointed at the home to ensure staff are well-trained and maintain high standards, while the equipment was deemed safe to use with a routine programme of maintenance.

Medicines have also been well managed according to the CQC's report.

The report added: "The registered manager was experienced and knowledgeable of the relevant legislation and best practice, and had moved the service forward in a clear and professional way.

"The service was managed effectively in line with people's needs. There was a person-centred culture and the service worked holistically with people, their families and other professionals."

One relative told the inspectors: "My family member is safe, somebody always answers the phone when I ring, and staff are able to tell me about my relative immediately."

Another said: "Staffing levels were low at one point and there was a high turnover of staff and a feeling of unrest. It's better atmosphere now since before Covid. There is a better management structure in place. I have seen the improvement."

The latest report only covers the findings in relation to the key questions Safe, Effective and Well-led which have all been rated as 'good'.

Iceni House provides personal and nursing care to 50 people aged 65 and over at the time of the inspection. The service can support up to 75 people, and offers more specialist dementia care.

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