A Suffolk care facility for people with complex needs has vowed to improve, saying its recent 'inadequate' rating does not properly reflect the quality of care it provides.

Baylham Care Centre, in Lower Street — run by Optima HCI Limited — was inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on February 12 and two out of three areas were classed as 'inadequate', while the others were rated 'requires improvement'.

The inspection was prompted by concerns the CQC had received about management of risk and people’s safety and the report said: "We found significant concerns around how the service was managed particularly with regards to health and safety and risk management."

Sandie Oxborrow, operations manager at the centre, said: “We are very disappointed with our latest CQC rating and we don’t feel it reflects the care we provide at our service.

East Anglian Daily Times: Sandie Oxborrow is operations manager at Baylham Care Centre in Lower StreetSandie Oxborrow is operations manager at Baylham Care Centre in Lower Street (Image: Sandie Oxborrow)

“The report notes the issue of potential risk rather than concerns about any specific harms and there is no evidence of abuse or neglect relating to those we care for."

The inspection found there were risks to residents such as free-standing wardrobes which could be pulled over, balconies with furniture on, which could be used to climb on and jump off, and doors left open which people could have left through without notice.

The CQC found the provider had consistently failed to adequately assess and mitigate against the risks of serious harm to people who had expressed a wish to harm themselves or commit suicide.

Staff said they did not feel their training had equipped them to deal with behavioural incidents, or manage the risks associated with supporting people who have behaviours that may challenge.

Examining leadership, the watchdog found lessons were not learned, there was a lack of ownership and accountability at a senior and provider level, ineffective governance and poor oversight.

The provider had also failed to notify CQC about all safeguarding allegations or incidents — a breach of CQC regulations.

The home is currently caring for 47 people, including younger adults and older people, some of whom have
complex mental health and physical needs.

East Anglian Daily Times: The care centre was rated 'outstanding' in a CQC inspection in 2017The care centre was rated 'outstanding' in a CQC inspection in 2017 (Image: Optima Care)

Mrs Oxborrow added: “Our previous CQC report rated our service as outstanding and we are confident that at our next inspection we will be able to evidence the high standards of care we deliver.

“As highlighted in the CQC report, our care centre consistently receives very positive feedback from the relatives of our residents and the inspectors themselves reported that ‘most people, and their relatives, that we spoke with told us they were happy and enjoyed living at the service’."

She added that the coronavirus pandemic has been "extremely challenging" for both residents and staff, and that measures have been put in place to improve their processes.

The full report is available to read here.