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Bullying and anxiety found at care home already in special measures

PUBLISHED: 08:11 05 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:07 05 May 2020

Dunsland care home in Paston Road, Mundesley. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Dunsland care home in Paston Road, Mundesley. Picture: Stuart Anderson

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Bullying, anxiety and poor hygiene have all been revealed at a north Norfolk care home which is already in special measures.

Health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated Dunsland care home in Mundesley ‘Inadequate’ in all areas after an inspection on February 17 - the third time in a row it has received an overall Inadequate grade.

But operators, Ipswich-based Cephas Care, has defended its record, saying the CQC kept “changing the goalposts”.

When inspectors last visited 10 people with learning disabilities, autism and physical and/or mental healthcare needs were living there.

Inspectors said they were “extremely concerned” about the culture within the staff and management team, and they saw unprofessional and poor standards of practice.

An activities room and lounge room at Dunsland care home in Mundesley. Picture: Stuart AndersonAn activities room and lounge room at Dunsland care home in Mundesley. Picture: Stuart Anderson

The CQC report said: “We observed episodes of staff speaking unkindly towards people and episodes of bullying within the staff team. We did not feel assured that staff were consistently respectful of people or each other.”

Inspectors also found:

-Items of soiled linen were found in bedrooms after staff completed personal care tasks with residents.

-Staff members were wearing jewellery and painted or false nails, contrary to policy.

The conservatory at Dunsland care home in Mundesley. Picture: Stuart AndersonThe conservatory at Dunsland care home in Mundesley. Picture: Stuart Anderson

-A staff member repeatedly shouted at a resident and did not treat them with respect.

-Administration of medicine was found lacking.

-Not all staff had completed required training, and the manager had raised concerns over staffing levels.

-Inspectors had to request a doctor’s appointment for resident with few teeth after noticing that the skin around their mouth was sore and inflamed.

-Behavioural incidents led to residents showing “anxiety and agitation”.

Rachael Robertson, Cephas Care’s adult and community services director, said they were disappointed and surprised by the rating, and said they had worked with Norfolk County Council to improve the home.

MORE: ‘Inadequate’ care home team defend their record

Ms Robertson said the one-day inspection felt rushed and some criticisms, including over having a lock on the laundry door, had changed since the previous inspection, suggesting the CQC had moved its goalposts.

She said: “We feel the inspection was crammed into one day does not reflect the home fully, not giving us a chance to show and discuss the improvements that had been achieved.”

Dunsland was put into special measures after its second Inadequate’ rating in November last year.

If improvements are not made before the CQC’s next inspection within six months the health watchdog will move to shut down the home. A CQC spokesman said “legal processes” prevented them from commenting further.

Full response from Rachael Robertson, ​director for adult and community services at Cephas Care:

“We are of course disappointed and had disputed many of the issues raised in the report, we have been working closely with Norfolk County Council quality assurance and had implemented there recommendations so were surprised with the outcome.

“It appears that many of the recommendations from Norfolk County Council differ from what CQC expected, we had requested meetings following the inspection with both parties in the room, however this was declined.

“Despite reporting to CQC that our food hygiene had been redone and was a three star now, one star was still reflected in the report despite this carried out prior to the inspection.

“A prime example of these goalposts changing are is being told at one inspection to put a lock on the laundry door only to be told on the next why did we put a lock on the laundry door, despite this being the same inspector.

“We feel very much as a provider we are stuck in the middle of both Norfolk County Council and CQC, and despite both us and the staff team at Dunsland investing a lot of time and effort into making improvements across the care and the property itself this isn’t going to be good enough.

“We feel the inspection was crammed into one day does not reflect the home fully, not giving us a chance to show and discuss the improvements that had been achieved, leaving us to send a lot of further information they had asked for which would be reviewed away from the property and without explanation doesn’t give a fair reflection of the home.

“We feel this approach did not give an opportunity to sit down and speak about the concerns they have raised many of which were not raised on the day of inspection during feedback.

“We are unsure what else we can do whilst there seems to be such a mismatch in what the council want us to do against what CQC want us to do, it feels like they keep moving the goalposts, we are however continuing to work alongside Norfolk County Council and continue to make improvements across the service.

“We would like to thank our staff for their continued hard work throughout this difficult period for Dunsland and in keeping our residents safe during this challenging time.”


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