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Choking and ulcer risks reported at failing Cromer care home

PUBLISHED: 10:48 01 September 2018 | UPDATED: 18:35 01 September 2018

Highfield Residential Care Home, on St Mary's Road, Cromer, has been rated inadequate in its latest CQC inspection. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

Highfield Residential Care Home, on St Mary's Road, Cromer, has been rated inadequate in its latest CQC inspection. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

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Choking and pressure ulcer risks were reported at a Cromer care home which has been rated inadequate after failing to make “significant improvements”.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) made an unannounced visit to Highfield Residential Care Home, on St Mary’s Road on May 15, 17 and 21.

The home received an overall CQC rating of inadequate, and was deemed inadequate for safety and leadership.

Inspectors said: “Risks relating to people choking were not managed safely,” and noted that some residents were at risk of developing pressure sores.

Two residents reported soiling themselves while waiting for staff to assist them to use the toilet, inspectors found.

Highfield Residential Care Home, on St Mary's Road, Cromer, has been rated inadequate in its latest CQC inspection. Photo: Jessica Frank-KeyesHighfield Residential Care Home, on St Mary's Road, Cromer, has been rated inadequate in its latest CQC inspection. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

The report, published in August, said: “One person told us: ‘I ring my bell but it doesn’t work although [the staff] say it does.’”

The owner said improvements were being made and staff “would be shown the door” if they were found wanting, but the home remains in special measures.

One visitor to the home told inspectors: “I think the staff are exceptionally kind.”

And a deputy manager has been recruited since the previous inspection and the atmosphere was described as calmer.

Highfield Residential Care Home, on St Mary's Road, Cromer, has been rated inadequate in its latest CQC inspection. Photo: Jessica Frank-KeyesHighfield Residential Care Home, on St Mary's Road, Cromer, has been rated inadequate in its latest CQC inspection. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

The home had 16 residents at the time of the inspection, some of whom may have dementia.

Inspectors said the home also required improvements in caring, effectiveness and responsiveness.

At Highfield’s previous CQC inspection in August last year, inspectors found the home to be in breach of seven regulations, including dignity and respect, consent, staffing, safety, nutrition, and governance.

The home’s management drew up an action plan which said the necessary improvements would be made by November 2017.

But during the recent inspection the home was again found to be in breach of seven regulations.

Inspectors reported that the home had “consistently failed to sustain improvements”.

The report stated: “Staff were not adequately trained to carry out their role.”

Inspectors described medicines as not safely stored and staff as not always caring. There were also concerns over resident’s records lacking detail, and the home’s leadership and effectiveness.

Inspectors said the service would remain in special measures as it had been found inadequate in two consecutive inspections.

What did the home’s management say about the report?

Home owner Kanapathipillai Thavapalasundaram said: “We will be making improvements as that is a requirement [of the report].

“At the next inspection when they come in I hope to meet the requirements.

“Even though it is a CQC report it is the opinion of the inspectors.

“If the regulation says we have to be safe you can interpret that in many ways.

“Under safety there are so many issues and each and every one of them we are trying [to improve].”

Mr Thavapalasundaram, who is also the registered provider for the home, added: “We do look after our residents properly and there’s no issue on that front at all.

“There are some concerns which are valid and we are trying to resolve these issues.”

He said while finding staff was an issue, he “would have shown the door to anyone who doesn’t do what should be done properly.”

He added: “They wouldn’t be here.”

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