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Inadequate care home in shock closure as council cancel contract

PUBLISHED: 06:30 13 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:21 13 February 2019

A north Norfolk care home which consistently failed to sustain improvements has been shuttered by authorities in a shock closure. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

A north Norfolk care home which consistently failed to sustain improvements has been shuttered by authorities in a shock closure. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

Archant

A north Norfolk care home which “consistently failed to sustain improvements” has been closed down by authorities.

Highfield Care Home, in Cromer, remained in special measures after a surprise inspection in May 2018 found choking and ulcer risks and residents soiling themselves.

And in a damning report published in August, Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors said the inadequate home would be inspected again within six months and threatened “urgent enforcement action” if managers failed to turn things around

Inspectors said the home had “consistently failed to sustain improvements” where problems had been identified previously.

But manager Kanapathipillai Thavapalasundaram said: “The council cancelled the contract. It’s nothing to do with the CQC.”

Highfield Residential Care Home, on St Mary's Road, Cromer. Photo: Jessica Frank-KeyesHighfield Residential Care Home, on St Mary's Road, Cromer. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

READ MORE: Choking and ulcer risks reported at failing Cromer care home

A spokesperson for Norfolk County Council (NCC), who accredit all care homes where council funded residents are placed, said: “Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of residents.

“We are very clear that we will work closely with care homes to provide support with skills and leadership to achieve improvements and good performance.

“But we are equally clear that we will be intolerant of those unable to achieve improvement, or sustain their performance.

“In line with this approach, our quality assurance team has worked closely with Highfield Care Home to support the home to achieve acceptable standards of care.

“Since we were no longer confident the home could maintain a good quality service, we have worked with residents and relatives and identified appropriate alternative care.”

The council confirmed 17 residents were affected by the closure and relocation process.

Inspectors said 16 people were living at the St Mary’s Road home at the time of the May inspection.

Speaking in August last year, Mr Thavapalasundaram vowed to make changes, and 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.

“We do look after our residents properly and there’s no issue on that front at all.”

The CQC website states checks are being carried out at the home, and a report will be published when they are complete.

READ MORE: Choking and ulcer risks reported at failing Cromer care home

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