Health watchdog places two Chester care homes in special measures


Steve Creswell

TWO care homes in Chester have been placed in ‘special measures’ following damning reports by the Government’s health watchdog.

Chester Lodge on Brook Street, and Curzon House in Saltney were rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Both now have six months to make significant improvements or they could face closure.

Inspectors visited Curzon House, run by Vivo Care Choices Ltd, following a “serious incident” and concerns about prevention and management of falls.

In recent months, a number of residents were said to have suffered falls, some of whom had to be taken to A&E.

And at Chester Lodge, operated by Heathbrock Ltd, a number of “new and repeated breaches of the Health and Social Care Act” were noted.

The report summaries for both care homes, published last month, state: “The overall rating for this service is ‘Inadequate’ and the service is therefore in ‘special measures’.

“Services in special measures will be kept under review and, if we have not taken immediate action to propose to cancel the provider’s registration of the service, will be inspected again within six months.

“The expectation is that providers found to have been providing inadequate care should have made significant improvements within this time-frame.

“This service will continue to be kept under review and, if needed, could be escalated to urgent enforcement action.”

Curzon House can accommodate up to 35 adults who need residential care and who may also be living with dementia.

In May this year, the CQC had rated it as ‘good’ – but inspectors were forced to make unannounced inspections in August after safeguarding concerns were raised.

While service users and relatives were generally complimentary about the operation and its staff, a number of issues were noted, particularly regarding falls prevention and medication.

The report states: “Records indicated that there had been a high number of accidents sustained by individuals while using the service over recent months.

“Some of these falls had been unwitnessed and some of these falls had occurred in people’s bedrooms.

“Some accidents had resulted in people being admitted into accident and emergency.

“The registered provider informed us subsequent to the inspection that a new system for identifying trends and patterns was to be introduced.”

It continued: “Our records outlined that a safeguarding concern had been raised since our last visit in respect of medication. This related to people who received respite care.

“One person had not received medication prescribed to them.”

The home has now addressed any issues with prescriptions, which has been confirmed by the council.

Chester Lodge Care Home, which can house up to 40 people, had been rated as ‘requiring improvement’ in March this year.

Its latest CQC report states: “At the last inspection… we asked the provider to take action to make improvements in regards to safe care and treatment, capacity and consent and overall governance.

“These actions had not been completed.”

Residents and family members described the service as safe and praised staff, but inspectors concluded that “risks to people’s health and safety were not always identified, assessed or managed”.

Among the concerns were:

l A number of people at risk of malnutrition or dehydration

l People not always receiving medication as it had been prescribed

l Medication not always stored in a safe and secure way

l Accidents and incidents not effectively monitored

l Some call bells out of reach and inaccessible

The report continued: “There was a strong unpleasant odour throughout many areas of the home including some bedrooms. The premises were visibly dirty in some areas with sticky surfaces, debris on the floor, dusty fans and vents.”

According to the CQC’s website, there are currently four care homes in Chester under special measures.

The others are Curzon Park Residential Home and Crawfords Walk, which were both rated ‘inadequate’ in June this year.

Formerly run by Bupa Care Homes, Crawfords Walk in Hoole is now said to be under new ownership. It was featured in an undercover investigation by Channel 4 Dispatches in June.


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  • Tracie67

    15:03, 15 December 2017

    I worked in one of the above mentioned care homes for over five years until this year when I resigned with immediate effect due to the falling standards in care and after reporting to my manager a case of neglect to a resident by another staff member where upon she saw the neglect and even took photographic evidence of it yet she did nothing about it and the person in question still works there it's an utter disgrace



  • John2017nwuk

    16:04, 02 December 2017

    It is so saddening to have been made aware of the recent CQC assessment and realizing the impact this will have on the home, staff but most importanntly, the residents. I'm sure, no business or organisation is ever free from criticism but having had the pleasure of getting to know some of the best people in our society - our elderly, it is without doubt Chester Lodge offers an awful lot that I feel has been largely ignored by CQC! Working with people is the most difficult and demanding aspect to any working environment and given such insight I feel staff and management strive very hard to ensure Chester Lodge offers a reliable, friendly and safe place for residents to live where their individual social and care needs are met with dedication, compassion and empathy. Additionally, Chester Lodge focuses greatly upon the general well being of the residents and provide a wide range of activities, trips and social events specifically to enhance the resident's overall stay at the home. Given the above, I certainly feel the CQC assessment is unfair and totally disregards the efforts everybody at Chester Lodge has made over the years.



  • ChrisR

    17:05, 01 December 2017

    I think it's pitiful, it's nearly 2018 and many care homes up and down the country legally pay their care staff the lowest wage set by Govermnet to provide care to the most vulnerable people in society and yet a car salesman can earn twice as much. It just shows how much value we, including the Government, place on the most vulnerable people in our society. These vulnerable people who have worked and contributed to this society all of their lives and are nearing their finality deserve the best of care. It's about time we placed more value in people than material goods.



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