Inadequate rating for care home near Leighton Buzzard set to close due to safety failings

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Care Quality Commission publishes report revealing full extent of shortcomings at Carey Lodge in Wing

The damning findings of an unannounced inspection at a care home near Leighton Buzzard scheduled to close later this month due to safety failings have been published.

Carey Lodge in Wing has been rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following the inspection in July and August of the premises run by charity The Freemantle Trust

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As reported previously here, Buckinghamshire Council initiated a safeguarding inquiry last week and now has a dedicated team of its social care staff based in Carey Lodge. The Trust has vowed to learn from the shortcomings highlighted to ensure it can't happen again at other services it runs (see here).

Carey Lodge. (Google)Carey Lodge. (Google)
Carey Lodge. (Google)

The CQC's focused inspection was carried out due to concerns received about how well-led the service was and the potential risks to people using it. It was also undertaken to follow up on issues identified at the previous inspection in October 2020.

It says that following this new inspection, insufficient improvements had been made and the overall rating has dropped from requires improvement to inadequate. Carey Lodge also rated inadequate for being safe and well-led. It is rated requires improvement for being effective, but had a good ranking in the caring category. The service has now been placed in special measures, although the Trust has confirmed the home will close in a matter of days.

Carey Lodge supports up to 75 older people, some living with dementia. At the time of the inspection 52 people lived at the home. The accommodation is located in six separate areas referred to as 'houses', located over three floors.

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Rebecca Bauers, CQC’s head of inspection for adult social care said: “When we inspected Carey Lodge, we found people at serious risk due to not receiving enough food and drink. Some people had gone over 12 hours without being offered a drink, and one person had waited over 17 hours. It’s unacceptable that people’s basic needs to keep them healthy and well hydrated aren’t being met.

“We also found major concerns about people’s safety if a fire or emergency happened. Some staff didn’t know how many people were in the building and inspectors found fire equipment stored near the front door on the ground floor, rather than in other, more appropriate areas.

“Due to our concerns we made an urgent referral to the local fire service. They have since visited the home and identified 11 immediate actions the service must make to keep people safe and protected from harm.

“During our visit, the provider failed to assure us that enough improvements had been made since our last inspection, and we have told them what further improvements need to be made.

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“We will continue to monitor the service closely, and work with stakeholders to ensure that people are living in a safe environment and receiving appropriate care for their needs.”

There were several areas of concern found on inspection, including:

> People were not routinely and consistently supported by a service that was well-led.

> People were placed at ongoing risk of harm as systems and processes were not in place to assess, mitigate and manage risk.

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> People were not protected from the risk of infection. The CQC found the home had many areas which needed cleaning or correct storage of hazardous waste.

> Risk assessments were completed by staff who had not received training on how to do this accurately.

> People were not consistently supported with their prescribed medicines. Staff did not routinely have access to additional guidance on when, how and why they should administer medicine for occasional use.

> The service had received complaints, these had not always been handled in line with the provider’s policy and the CQC found some had not been acknowledged or responded to.

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> People were not routinely supported by staff who respected their dignity, staff routinely entered people’s rooms without knocking.

> People were not routinely supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff did not always support them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests.

> Some staff had not received all the necessary training to carry out their role.

Full details of the inspection are given in the report published on the CQC website at