Care home 'disappointed' with 'requires improvement' watchdog report

Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Kiwis

Highfield House in Halesworth was visited b the CQC in December (file photo) - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Kiwis

A Halesworth care home has pledged to improve its standards after being rated "requires improvement" by a health watchdog.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited Highfield House, managed by Castlemeadow Care, in early December.

The London Road home had previously been rated "good" following a CQC inspection in November 2019.

However, a follow-up visit to monitor the quality and safety of the service saw its rating fall - with a recently-published report saying a frequent change in managers "had impacted on the quality and safety of the service".

The report said a failure to have a consistent manager in place had led to "continued shortfalls in governance arrangements and risks associated with fire safety, medicines and people’s welfare were not always being identified or managed".

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The CQC also raised concerns about the storage of medicines and improvements were needed to ensure risks to residents were identified.

However, the watchdog found the culture of the home, which can accommodate up to 40 people, had improved under the new management.

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The report added: "Staff felt supported, had better direction and leadership, and had received training that gave them the skills and knowledge they needed to carry out their roles effectively."

A spokesman for Castlemeadow Care, which is planning to build another care home in the town, said: "We are very disappointed that our usual high standards of service to our residents and their families at Highfield House have not been met as identified in our recent CQC inspection.

"We have immediately responded to the findings highlighted in the report by putting additional management in place and have continued to work closely with the CQC and local authority to do everything possible to return Highfield House to a good rating.

"During the inspection, infection prevention and control was assessed and we were pleased that the CQC was assured that we were meeting all regulations in regard to visiting, shielding, admissions to the home, the use of PPE within the home, testing, staffing and policies.

"Following completion of an action plan, the CQC was satisfied with the level of improvements that had already been completed and the plan to move the home forward."

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