Dirty with holes in walls - damning report puts care home in special measures

 Westbrook House is in Cabbell Road, Cromer.

Westbrook House is in Cabbell Road, Cromer. - Credit: Google StreetView

Dirty, badly-led and unsafe - that is the damning verdict of a care home for people with learning disabilities which has just been put into special measures. 

After its previous inspection in February 2019 the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated Westbrook House in Cabbell Road, Cromer, 'Good' in all five of its categories. 

But things seem to have gone badly wrong since then, with the most recent CQC report giving five 'Inadequate' grades and demanding it improve or face closure. 

Five people with autism or other leaning disabilities lived at Westbrook when inspectors called on June 22 and July 5.

The CQC said residents were at risk of burns and getting trapped by exposed radiators and pipes, and the building was unclean, mouldy and damp. Inspectors found holes in the walls and the lift had not worked for three years. 

Incidents including falls went unreported, and there was a "serious incident" in April this year which raised concerns about certain members of staff. 

The CQC said: "We also identified behaviour from other staff members that amounted to abusive and improper treatment." 

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Inspectors found residents sitting on stained and dirty furniture, and there had been no registered manager since April 2020.

The CQC said: "The dirty, poorly maintained environment was not respectful and did not promote their dignity. People were not supported by staff who paid attention to their needs and ensured these were met.

"Staff did not always treat people with respect. People’s rights were not fully protected and as a result their property and finances were not always treated respectfully." 

Tom Burns, managing director of Jeesal Residential Care Services, which runs Westbrook, said they carried out their own review of the home in June, and decided work was needed to "bring it up to standard".

He said they were now in the process of moving the residents into other accommodation while they carry out the work. 

Mr Burns said: "The future of Westbrook House as a building has yet to be decided. However, we are pleased with how the resident moves have gone and we are extremely grateful for all of the support from colleagues at Norfolk County Council Adult Social Care."

The CQC is due to reinspect Westbrook within six months, and if significant improvements are not made, steps will be taken to close it down.