Operators of care home near Leighton Buzzard confirm it will close after damning safety report
Letter reveals the home is 'unfortunately no longer viable'
More than 60 extremely vulnerable people will have to be rehoused after a care home dramatically announced it was closing its doors at the end of the month.
Carey Lodge in Wing, was subject to a snap Care Quality Commission visit over safety concerns raised by staff. It had previously been the subject of a damning CQC report last year following an unannounced visit in October 2020.
The home, which cares for those with dementia and end of life care, is owned by the Fremantle Trust.
In a letter to staff seen by the LBO, the company said: "Following a recent inspection by the CQC there were several concerns about the quality of care and support at the home. It is therefore with great sadness that we have taken the decision to close Carey Lodge care home. As a charitable organisation the home is unfortunately no longer viable."
A member of staff told us they had been unhappy with the way residents had been cared for.
They said: "They're trying to find emergency placements for the residents currently residing there. Staff may be able to transfer within the company to another role or take redundancy or seek alternative employment."
They said they had seen one incident where a patient on end of life care but aware of their situation, wanted to go to the toilet but was told to go in the bed, and they would be cleaned up later.
"No turning of bedridden patients was taking place," the source said. "Quite a lot of people had pressure sores."
There are around 40 members of staff but the home was often short of staff, they said, with around 15 residents to one staff member at times. "There was hardly any time to hold their hand," they said. "There was no dignity or quality of care for the patients."
They added: "I can sleep easy knowing that I blew the whistle and have safeguarded these vulnerable adults. I hope another care home can take this over and keep it as a care home."
Buckinghamshire Council initiated a safeguarding inquiry last week.
In a statement it said: "A dedicated team of Buckinghamshire Council social care staff is now based in Carey Lodge. This team will speak to all Buckinghamshire residents and their family members to ensure they are fully involved in any decisions that are made with regards to reviewing their support needs and identifying somewhere else to live and receive care.
"The council continues to work with Carey Lodge and The Fremantle Trust to ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents is given the highest priority.
"The council acknowledges this situation is a distressing time for people who live at Carey Lodge and their family. If you or your family member have any concerns that you would like to discuss, please speak to the council’s Adult Social Care staff based at Carey Lodge."
Bucks Council councillor for Wing, Diana Blamires, added: "It is concerning for residents and their families but everything is being done to help find the right places for everyone to settle."
In a CQC report in December 2020, inspectors noted there had been previous concerns about management and care of patients at the home.
It found residents were not routinely and consistently protected from risks associated with their medical conditions and staff were not always aware of patients' medical conditions. Note keeping was poor and often out of date,
The report stated: "We found no evidence that people had been harmed however, systems were either not in place or robust enough to demonstrate that governance of the service was effectively managed. This placed people at risk of receiving unsafe or ineffective care".
The Fremantle Trust is a registered not-for-profit organisation which has care sites in Bedfordshire, Bucks, Milton Keynes and Berkshire, as well as Hertfordshire.
In a statement issued to the LBO the Trust has apologised and said the decision to close the home was taken "with great sadness". It added it was determined to learn from the experience to ensure it can't happen again at other services it runs. Full statement here...
Do you have relatives at the home? What do you think of the situation? Email [email protected]