Highbury Residential Care Home in Rushden rated inadequate by CQC and placed in special measures

It means the home will be kept under close review and re-inspected to check sufficient improvements have been made
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The bosses of a Rushden care home are ‘disappointed’ after being rated inadequate, but determined to meet the actions the CQC has asked them to take.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated Highbury Residential Care Home in Irchester Road as inadequate and placed it in special measures following an inspection in February.

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This unannounced inspection was prompted due to concerns regarding the provider's ability to meet the standards required to safely and effectively provide support to people with learning disabilities and autistic people.

The home has been rated as inadequate and placed in special measuresThe home has been rated as inadequate and placed in special measures
The home has been rated as inadequate and placed in special measures

The service provides accommodation and personal care for up to eight people and was at full capacity at the time of the inspection.

As well as the overall rating dropping from good to inadequate following this inspection, it has also declined from good to inadequate for being safe and well-led.

The ratings for being caring, effective and responsive have dropped from good to requires improvement.

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The service is now in special measures, which means it will be kept under close review by CQC and re-inspected to check sufficient improvements have been made.

Craig Howarth, CQC deputy director of operations in the Midlands, said: “We expect health and social care providers to guarantee people with a learning disability and autistic people the safety, choices, dignity, and independence that most people take for granted.

"When we inspected Highbury Residential Care Home, we had concerns that these needs weren’t being met at the standards people should be able to expect.

“For example, someone asked a member of staff about food, they then responded in a firm and loud manner, telling them to stop asking about food as they had just had a drink of tea.

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"Another person told a staff member they had plans to go to the shop, the staff member repeatedly told them they weren’t going out.

"However, it had already been agreed for them to go.

"These interactions are totally unacceptable and must be addressed as a priority.

Inspectors found the environment wasn’t always safe.

"One area was out of use due to renovation work taking place; however, someone was still able to access it.

"Additionally, fire doors were propped open by equipment and there was clutter and trip hazards which could put people at risk.

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“We have reported our findings to the service, and they have provided us with an action plan.

"We will return to inspect the home and if sufficient progress hasn’t been made.

"We will not hesitate to take further action to ensure people’s safety and well-being.”

A spokesman for Highbury Residential Care Home told the Northants Telegraph: “We are disappointed with the outcome of the inspection, but we are determined to meet the actions that the CQC has asked us to take.

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"We have embedded an action plan with regards to the issues raised and have already made immediate and significant changes.

"The well-being of the people we support is of the upmost importance to us and we are doing everything we can to provide them with empowered and fulfilling lives, this includes working with families.”

Inspectors found:

- People did not always receive safe care and support, and the environment was not always safe. People's needs and preferences were not always met

- Risk assessments were not always in place to assess known risks. The environment was not made safe by the provider, with areas of the building that were under renovation, fully accessible to people

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- Staffing levels at night did not reflect the level of need people had, should an emergency occur. Inspectors did not see evidence the building was safe in relation to fire hazards and checks within this area

- Medicines were not always appropriately documented or managed. Cleaning fluids were not always safely stored and were a known risk to people in the service

- People were not always supported to pursue their hobbies and interests. We did not see evidence people were engaged with regularly activities of their choice. Inspectors’ observations were of people mostly watching television

- People did not receive care that was person-centred, and dignity, privacy and human rights were not always promoted

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- Some staff communicated with people in a way that was not dignified or caring. People’s privacy was not always respected as personal information was left accessible, and not kept securely

- Many staff had not received training in supporting people with learning disabilities and autistic people. However, staff understood safeguarding procedures and had training on how to recognise and report abuse and they knew how to apply it

- The ethos, values, attitudes and behaviours of the provider and manager did not always ensure people lead confident, inclusive, and empowered lives

- Systems and processes were not effective in picking up and responding to any problems within the service. Inspectors saw no evidence the provider or manager’s knowledge within the field of learning disability and autism care and support, was up to date to ensure appropriate standards could be met.

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- The staff team were not always proactive in meeting people's needs, and were reacting to people's distress and boredom, rather than fostering an environment and atmosphere that would reduce the likelihood of any such distress happening

However, the inspectors also found:

- People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice

- People and those important to them, including social care professionals, were involved in planning their care

The report will be published on the CQC website in the next few days.

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