Newcastle care home placed into special measures after inspectors deemed it ‘inadequate’

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The Care Quality Commission has placed a Newcastle care home into special measures after inspectors deemed it to be ‘inadequate’.

An unannounced inspection of Bowland Lodge, on Western Avenue, in January was carried out to check on the progress of improvements that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) told the provider to make following a warning notice in March 2022.

Following the inspection, Bowland Lodge’s overall rating dropped from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘inadequate’.

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The site is a residential care home that provides personal care for up to 36 people with a variety of needs including mental health and dementia-related conidtions.

The CQC has stated that at the time of the inspection in January, there were 30 people using the service.

The home’s rating for being safe and responsive to people’s needs have also dropped from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘inadequate’.

Bowland Lodge has been rated as ‘inadequate’ by the CQC. Bowland Lodge has been rated as ‘inadequate’ by the CQC.
Bowland Lodge has been rated as ‘inadequate’ by the CQC.

Following the inspection, it was also ruled that Bowland Lodge’s rating for caring dropped from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’, with the rating for how well-led the service is remaining at ‘inadequate’ and the rating for being effective remaining at ‘requires improvement’.

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As a result of the poor inspection, the home is now in special measures, which means it will be kept under close reveiw by the CQC to ensure people’s safety and it will be reinspected to determine whether improvements have been made.

Alison Chilton, CQC deputy director for operations in the North, said: “Despite CQC telling Bowland Lodge where it needed to improve at previous inspections, they were still failing to provide safe care, and we found further deterioration.

“People were at the risk of harm because leaders hadn’t taken enough action to ensure effective systems were in place to improve the management of risk.

“This is particularly important for a service that looks after people who are vulnerable because of their dementia related condition or mental health.

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Inspectors found there were ongoing risks with the environment. For example, one person was at risk of absconding; their window restrictor didn’t meet safety requirements and the garden area wasn’t secure.

“Another person also managed to abscond on six occasions which is totally unacceptable and put them at significant risk of harm.

“Although it was promising that staff had training in areas such as mental health and alcohol use, this knowledge and understanding wasn’t reflected in care plans and risk assessments formulated by staff at the home, in order to meet people’s individual needs.

“Also, people’s strengths and levels of independence hadn’t been fully assessed by staff at the home to help them achieve their full potential and give them more opportunities.

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“Following the inspection, we provided feedback to the new manager and provider who took our concerns on board and developed an action plan to address the issues identified.

“We will continue to monitor the service closely and if we’re not assured improvements have been made and embedded, we will not hesitate to use further enforcement powers to keep people safe.”

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