Mental health facilities to stay in special measures after watchdog visit

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited the care homes in December Picture: CARE QUALITY

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited the care homes in December Picture: CARE QUALITY COMMISSION - Credit: Archant

Two mental health facilities remain in special measures after a watchdog rated aspects of safety and leadership as ‘inadequate’.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited Connemara Lodge in Kirby-le-Soken and Meadow View in Jaywick last month.

The care homes, providing accommodation and personal care for up to a dozen people across both sites, are operated by Shamrock Villas Ltd.

Staff at Connemara Lodge lacked understanding of when to raise a safeguarding alert, inspectors said in a report published this week.

There were systems in place to address and respond to safety risks, but these were not consistently applied, assessors said.

Investigators were also concerned about what they described as “insufficient” support staff available to meet the specific needs of people using the service.

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Infection control systems had improved, but inspectors continued to find areas of the service unclean, they said.

However, several areas of the home originally rated ‘inadequate’ when inspectors visited in April last year – including care, effectiveness and responsiveness – were elevated to ‘requires improvement’.

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They noted that those using the service were treated with kindness, and staff showed concern for people’s wellbeing in a caring way.

This was also the case at Meadow View, which also saw all three of these categories improve.

Inspectors said people were supported by staff who they described as kind.

However, they also noted further work was needed to ensure people were cared for in a clean, hygienic and well-maintained environment.

People were not always encouraged to eat a healthy balanced died because options were limited, inspectors added, and not all staff had training in understanding people with mental health conditions.

Nikki Faber, who manages both homes, said she has lodged a formal complaint with the CQC about the findings.

She did not want to comment further.

The services will be re-inspected in due course, where it will be determined if they should be lifted out of special measures.

Essex County Council has also been informed of the developments.

For the full reports and further information, visit the CQC website.

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