The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has warned that it will always take tough action against providers that deliver unacceptable care so that people using services and their families are properly protected.
This follows on from urgent legal action taken by CQC last Friday (7 August) to stop The Old Village School Nursing Home, run by Old Village Care Limited, in Bedfordshire from providing services with immediate effect because of serious concerns about the service and the risks it presented to people using it.
The service – providing nursing care for older people, as well as for younger people with highly specialised needs due to Acquired Brain Injury – was rated as Inadequate and placed into special measures after CQC carried out an unannounced inspection in June this year in response to concerns about the quality of care.
People expressed concerns about the care they received with one person telling CQC: “The care here is nil, management is to blame.”
One nurse said: “The skill mix here is all wrong. There is inadequate staffing and one trained nurse cannot manage this.”
Another staff member added: “We are pulled in all directions and sometimes don’t know what we should be doing.”
CQC 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 – CQC has taken action to prevent the nursing home from being able to accommodate residents in the interests of their safety.
Working with Bedfordshire Council, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), people were moved from the home last Friday and Saturday as safely as possible.
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.
“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.”
“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.
“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.
“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.”