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Actors’ care home ‘fails to protect’ residents, report finds

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Residents at actors’ care home Denville Hall are not being protected from the risk of abuse, an investigation has revealed.

The Care Quality Commission has found that the home    whose residents have included Richard Attenborough –  was in breach of four areas of the Health and Social Care Act.

It marks the second time the residential home in Middlesex has been under the spotlight, after a previous investigation in September 2014 found the care home had been mismanaging the drugs prescriptions of its residents.

While the most recent report, based on an inspection carried out in November 2014, found this had been addressed, it concluded that Denville Hall had failed three out of five areas it is expected to meet, including being safe, effective and well-led.

Overall, the service was given a “requires improvement”, just one up from the worst that can be handed out by the Care Quality Commission, which is tasked with enforcing legislation governing standards of health services.

The commission said it had found four breaches with regards to supporting staff, recording and reporting allegations of abuse, assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision and keeping accurate records.

When assessing whether the service was safe, the commission said it had found that “arrangements in place to safeguard people from the risk of abuse were not always effective”.

It said it had looked at eight safeguarding incidents that had been notified to the local authority and found there were “issues in the reporting of allegations made to staff and the registered manager”.

“We were aware that there had been more allegations of abuse known to the registered manager but not all these had been reported to the Care Quality Commission or the local authority.

The registered manager could not show us that there was any type of agreement with the local authority regarding when to report, record and monitor allegations of abuse,” it said, adding: “Therefore as not all allegations had been reported and recorded, we could not be sure whether safeguarding incidents had been properly investigated and the provider’s arrangements to protect people from the risk of abuse were effective.”

Regarding whether the service was well-led, the report found that residents’ records were not “up to date and organised”.

Care records did not describe residents’ needs and records in relation to allegations of abuse “contained limited details of the incidents”. It found that four out of eight records viewed failed to give the date of the allegation.

The commission also found that there was no system in place “for the continuous monitoring of the different aspects of the service to ensure it was run in people’s best interest”, and that there were “shortfalls in general record keeping and in the audits on care records”.

In addition, concerns were raised about the high turnover of staff at the home.

The investigation found that 38 staff had left in the past two years and that the registered manager, Charlotte Schram, was unable to give the reasons why staff had left their posts.

“A relative told us that the recent high turnover of staff had been a ‘bit unsettling’ for their family member,” the report said.

Denville Hall, which can cost more than £1,000 a week, will now have to report back about how it has addressed the issues raised.

Failure to comply can result in a warning and subsequent legal action being taken.

A statement from Denville Hall said: “We are delighted that the report acknowledges the wellbeing of our residents, whose safety and happiness are paramount. We accept that there have been documentation problems and are working on the recommended improvements as we move into a new phase, with CQC’s continued support.”

The home’s ambassadors include Helen Mirren and Tom Stoppard.

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