‘Inadequate’ Scarletts care home in Colchester on last chance with CQC

Scarletts care home in Colchester. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Scarletts care home in Colchester. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

A Colchester care home is under threat of closure unless improvements are made fast.

Scarletts, in Recreation Road, was rated ‘inadequate’ in June 2017 after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found it was not meeting legal safety requirements.

The facility, run by Essex County Care Limited, was placed under ‘special measures’, which means inspectors keep a close eye to make sure problems are addressed.

The CQC restricted admissions, and the local authority started monitoring the care residents received.

Further enforcement action was taken against the home, which accommodates over 65s, after a follow-up visit in September because “limited improvements” had been made.


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The health watchdog returned in December after receiving complaints in relation to staffing, management and provider oversight.

Inspectors assessed the home’s safety and leadership and found it was still ‘inadequate’ in both areas.

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Their report, published this week, highlighted a number of incidents of concern, including:

• Failure to help a patient manager their diabetes;

• Allowing a dementia patient to take a bite of a snack with cling film on;

• Incorrect monitoring of residents with urinary catheters;

• Staff member said they taught themselves how to carry out a risk assessment by researching online;

• Resident left asleep most of the day without food or drink;

• Insufficient protocols in place to ensure people received right medicine.

There was also no registered manager in post, and the CQC flagged concerns about staff training and high turnover.

The report adds: “The provider was not giving the support needed to run the service and effectively implement and sustain improvement.”

In December, Essex County Care Limited brought in external consultants to draw up a recovery plan.

The CQC will return to Scarletts soon to check on progress and has warned: “If not enough improvement is made within the timeframe so that there is still a rating of ‘inadequate’ for any key question or overall, we will take action in line with our enforcement procedures to begin the process of preventing the provider from operating this service.”

A manager at Scarletts declined to comment.

Essex County Care Limited was not reachable at the time of going to print.

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