Trafford care home seeks judicial review after “factually inaccurate” CQC report

A Trafford nursing home is to take legal action following a damning report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Flixton Manor, in Urmston, has been placed in ‘Special Measures’ following an inspection published earlier this month.

The CQC, who independently regulate all health and social services in England, ranked the service ‘Inadequate’, a verdict that the home’s director, Rashad Al-Safar, has labelled “harsh and badly measured.”

He told MM: “We have never in all our years received such an outcome from any authority and no negative allegation has ever been proved against us.

“We have used every possible appeal process available within the CQC’s procedures. To date we have received no satisfactory responses and no satisfactory explanations.

“We will most likely be taking the CQC to a judicial review regarding the publishing of our report and their findings.”

The report, published on January 3rd, cited breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008, relating to “recruitment processes, training and staff supervision, lack of staff interaction with people who use the service, assessments and reviews of care, managing complaints, meeting people’s social needs and quality assurance and auditing systems.”

Perhaps the most shocking of all the findings was the revelation that the care home’s staff had NOT RECEIVED ANY TRAINING in supporting people living with dementia; something Mr Al-Safar stringently refutes.

“We believe the CQC have overstepped their remit with regards to actual breaches in the Health and Social Care Act and have not provided any clear evidence as to why we are in breach,” he said.

Flixton Manor, opened in 1985, is registered to provide accommodation with personal care and nursing for up to 38 older people, the majority of whom suffer with dementia.

It’s the first time in the family run business’s 32 year history that they have been placed in ‘Special Measures’.

The initial, unannounced inspection took place over the 6th and 7th of September last year and its publication comes in the same month that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to nationalise the country’s failing care homes amidst a crisis in the NHS.

Whilst the report acknowledged that the home’s staff enjoyed working at the home, the CQC stated that they had not been notified of incidents and deaths as required.

They also referred to multiple trip hazards and the duplication of assessments when reviewing the home’s safety. Something the CQC feels ‘requires improvement’.

Their ultimate conclusion was that the service ‘was not well led’, ranking Mr Al-Safar’s leadership ‘Inadequate’.

Flixton Manor contests these judgements, offering it as an example of the ‘factual inaccuracies’ that they have fallen foul of.

MM contacted the CQC for a response to Mr Al-Safar’s claims. They said they were unsurprised by his reaction and that he is ‘perfectly entitled’ to take legal action.

Spokesman David Fryer told MM: “[Judicial reviews] do happen a lot, yes; it’s down to disgruntled services. They are the regulated, and we are the regulator.

“We do send the reports out before we publish them and we ask for any factual inaccuracies to be pointed out.

“Whether he did that or not I don’t know but we give him the opportunity to do that.

“It’s difficult for me to say too much more about that as the likelihood is that we may be taking action alongside all of this, maybe to cancel his registration, therefore he may not be in business.

“The judicial review will go to a tribunal and we will await the outcome of that but in the formative time there will be further action taken. So, it’s a case of watch this space.”

The report did credit the home’s cleanliness and praised staff for meeting the health and nutritional needs of the people living in the home.

For now though the Delamere Road service will remain under review and, if needed, could see its status elevated to urgent enforcement action.

Another inspection may be conducted within the next six months and should there be no improvement to the home’s rating, the provider could find their registration terminated.

Image courtesy of Google StreetView, with thanks.

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