Mildenhall: Care UK’s Mildenhall Lodge care home has been “closed” to new council residents since July

Mildenhall Lodge Care Home.

Mildenhall Lodge Care Home. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk County Council stopped sending new residents to Mildenhall Lodge care home just 39 days after it opened its doors – and there is still no immediate prospect of the suspension being lifted.

New admissions were suspended on July 29 after concerns were first raised with the county council. Two days later inspectors from the Care Quality Commission arrived at the home.

They raised concerns about four of the five criteria that they judged – and took enforcement action to protect the care and welfare of the people using the services.

A second inspection took place at the end of last month and its results are expected to be published later in October.

Until then the county’s suspension will continue. The county is contracted to fill 30 of the 60 rooms at the home with the remainder available for privately-funded residents.

The home has not taken on any privately-funded residents since the suspension was introduced and when the CQC inspectors visited they found that it had 30 residents.

The situation is to be discussed at next week’s meeting of the county’s health scrutiny committee.

Mildenhall Lodge opened on June 20 and was the first of three new homes to be completed this summer by Care UK, the company which took over the county council’s own care homes two years ago.

Most Read

Following the concerns raised at Mildenhall, the county council made checks on the other two homes – Asterbury Place in Ipswich and Davers Court in Bury St Edmunds.

It is understood that council officials made it clear to Care UK managers that they would be watching closely to ensure lessons were learned – there was a pause in admitting new residents to Asterbury Place, but it is now fully open.

Care UK’s regional operations director Rachel Gilbert said: “We continue to work closely with colleagues from Suffolk Country Council to ensure that the lessons we have learnt from opening the new home at Mildenhall Lodge are used to ensure that we are delivering good care to the people living in the other new homes.”

Suffolk’s cabinet member for adult care Dr Alan Murray said the county would not be sending any more residents to the home until the CQC said it now met all its requirements: “We will need to see the second report before we lift the suspension.”

The follow-up CQC inspection at Mildenhall Lodge took place on September 26 and a spokesman for the watchdog said it took 28 days before any report could be published.