Hartlepool care home branded ‘inadequate’ by inspectors

Clifton House Residential Home, Hartlepool.
Clifton House Residential Home, Hartlepool.
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A Hartlepool care home has been placed in special measures after an official regulator rated it as inadequate.

Clifton House Residential Care Home, in Clifton Avenue, received the lowest inspection rating awarded by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after a surprise visit in February.

Debbie Westhead of the Care Quality Commission.

Debbie Westhead of the Care Quality Commission.

The CQC, the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England, found there was not always enough staff, safe procedures had not been followed in recruiting new staff and there was a lack of activities provided.

The home has been given time to improve or risk enforcement action.

Clifton House said the inspection coincided with a large influx of new residents following home closures in Hartlepool and that action has now been taken.

Debbie Westhead, CQC’s deputy chief inspector for Adult Social Care in the North, said: “People are entitled to services which provide safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care.

“Whenever we find a service to be Inadequate, we will consider taking further action on behalf of the people who use the service.”

Clifton House was inspected by the CQC in unannounced visits on February 22, 25 and 29.

In a report published this week it stated: “We found there were not always enough staff deployed to ensure people received the care they needed in a timely manner.

“The registered provider had not followed safe procedures when recruiting new staff to ensure they were suitable to work with vulnerable adults.

“People living with dementia did not always receive personalised care to meet their specific needs.”

One member of staff told the inspectors they were “run off their feet”. And some checks to ensure the safety and security of the building were not up to date.

But family members told the CQC that staff are kind, caring and considerate and the home was clean.

And a previous breach around medicine management had been acted on.

Susan Heel, manager of Clifton House, said: “We had a big influx of residents in January and February because of closures of homes.

“It was a big challenge for all of us to get everything in place and obviously we didn’t meet the standards the CQC wanted.

“We have sent our action plan back and got all our paperwork up to scratch now. We haven’t compromised on the care of the residents.”