Soon-to-close Kettering care home placed into special measures

Dove Court Care Home. NNL-170108-153242005
Dove Court Care Home. NNL-170108-153242005

A Kettering care home has been placed into special measures by the CQC just days after it announced it was set to close.

Dove Court Care Home in Albert Street revealed it would close earlier this month, blaming difficulty in recruiting which led to it not being viable.

An inspection by health regulators just six weeks earlier, with the CQC report now published, had found it to be unclean and unsafe, breaching five regulations of the Health and Social Care Act.

A spokesman for Four Seasons Health Care, who run the care home, said: “We take our responsibilities as a care provider very seriously, so we recently announced our intention to close Dove Court because we were concerned it was unable to maintain the quality of care that we expect our homes to provide and it was struggling to remain viable.

“The Care Quality Commission report effectively confirms that this was the right decision.

“We deeply regret that care was not of a satisfactory standard.

“Among the reasons was that there have been difficulties in recruiting and retaining nurses and carers with the right level of skills, which necessitated a high use of temporary agency staff.

“Although they are appropriately qualified, agency staff are not familiar with the needs of people living in the home, or its procedures and systems, which caused challenges to care quality.”

The inspection at the home, which cares for nearly 50 residents, found it to be inadequate in every area it rated.

One resident who was spoken to as part of the inspection told CQC inspectors they were told they were selfish for asking for help and cried themselves to sleep.

Others were placed at risk of dehydration.

Toilets were covered in faeces with plug holes filled with congealed dirt and one person’s soiled underpants left on top of a bin.

Live wires were found exposed above a resident’s bed with another saying they were treated ‘like a piece of meat’.

The report said: “We found there to be insufficient numbers of staff working at the service to keep people safe.

“There was a high reliance on agency staff and a lack of clinical leadership within the home.

“People had experienced and were at risk of experiencing unsafe care and treatment as a result.

“Staff training and performance was not being effectively monitored and staff lacked knowledge about people who used the service.

“We found the premises to be unclean and unsafe.

“Risks posed by the premises had not been identified and as a result had not been resolved. This put people at risk.

“We found that medicines were not always safely stored and managed and that there had been a lack of follow up when medicines had been unavailable.

“Care was not always planned and delivered to ensure people’s safety.

“People at nutritional risk and those at risk of developing pressure sores had experienced unsafe care and treatment and there was a lack of monitoring in relation to people’s nutritional intake.

“People’s dignity was not being maintained at the service and their privacy was not always respected.

“People’s personal preferences in relation to their care was not always considered and people lacked stimulation and choices about how they spent their time.”

The Four Seasons Health Care spokesman admitted that their systems were not being used properly.

He said: “The CQC inspectors were critical of a lack of management leadership and support in the home.

“As an organisation we have the right systems and processes to support a high standard of care, including procedures to notify senior management when additional support is needed to rectify care quality issues, but in this instance they were not being used properly.

“The company is undertaking a consultation process with the care team about the proposed closure.

“We will work closely with Northamptonshire Council’s Social Services team to ensure that the residents and their families are supported to find suitable alternative placements and Dove Court will continue to provide care until those transfers have taken place.”