Care home is told it must get better

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A care home which specialises in looking after people with dementia has been told to improve or face further action.

The Care Quality Commission has issued a formal warning to Orchard Care (3) Limited, saying it must make improvements at Willow Brook House, South Road, Corby. The warning follows an unannounced visit by inspectors last month.

Willow Brook House provides care for up to 48 residents, some with dementia.

It was reported to inspectors that residents sometimes waited up to 40 minutes to be helped to the toilet by staff at the home.

Temporary workers were not briefed on the specific care needs of residents, particularly those with dementia. Inspectors heard that residents were left waiting in their wheelchairs at mealtimes because there was not enough staff on duty to help them into more comfortable chairs at the dining table.

The layout of the building also meant that if staff members were helping someone in a bedroom at one end of the corridor, they were unable to see or hear people in other parts of the home. Leaving people with dementia unattended poses a substantial risk to their health and safety, said the commission.

Andrea Gordon, deputy director of operations for the commission’s central region, said: “This warning sends a clear message that Orchard Care (3) Limited needs to address this issue or face further consequences.

“Our inspectors will return in the near future and if we find that the required progress is not made we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers to protect the people who use this service.”

A spokesman for the company said: “Willow Brook House was taken over recently from the stricken Southern Cross Group.

“We have since put a rescue package in place and are working hard to improve services on all fronts at the home. We welcome the input of the commission and will continue to work closely together to ensure our residents enjoy the best possible experience at Willow Brook House.”