Rochdale care provider slates home’s ‘inadequate’ rating from CQC as ‘inaccurate’

A Rochdale care home for the elderly is reeling from an ‘inadequate’ rating in their latest report by the Care Quality Commission at the end of last month.

Marland Court, a 24 bedroom home that cares for people over 65 was deemed ‘inadequate’ after failing to comply with regulations set out by the CQC in previous inspections, which specified the need for improvement in areas such as medicine handling and records.

The provider Phillip Leicester, 61, from Middleton spoke to MM and argued the report was unfair and an inaccurate reflection of the care home, and explained that a failure in technology played a large part in this disappointing rating.

He said: “My main concern is the way we that we have arrived at this inadequate. It is totally disproportionate to what is actually taking place at the home.”

“It started with inspections last year in June and August. We didn’t get the emails and reports as they were sent to the wrong email address.

“At that point we feel they should have said because of the email problem we will issue another action plan, but they went straight to a written warning that was inadequate.”

After consistently garnering positive ratings by the CQC in previous years, the most recent report has come as quite a shock.

It reads that safety and effectivity of the service requires improvement, the quality of caring is good, and both leadership and response is currently inadequate.

Mr Leicester expressed a deep unhappiness with how his business had been treated, and believed the report bore little truth about the current state of Marland Court.

“Some of the information on the inspection report is just untrue, and the sequence of how we have arrived here is unfair,” he told MM.

“‘Requires improvement’ would have been a bit of a kick in the teeth, but ‘inadequate’ gives the impression that we are an inadequate home. And we are not.”

The CQC report itself does in many ways appear to be at odds with the overall rating given, with much of the assessment commending the care home.

It states: “People who used the service told us they received the care and support they needed.

“Throughout the inspection we saw that members of staff were respectful and spoke to people who used the service in a courteous and friendly manner.

“People who used the service and the visitors we asked told us that Marland Court was a safe place to live.

“We found that people’s weight and nutrition was monitored so that prompt action could be taken if any problems were identified.”

These comments were however offset by concerns about leadership and response, with milder worries directed toward safety issues and effectivity.

“The service was not always responsive. This was because staff were getting people up as early as 5am and not acting in accordance with people’s wishes,” it said.

“People who used the service were not given the opportunity to make decisions about some aspects of their care. This was a breach of Regulation 17 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

“The service was not well-led. Arrangements in place for monitoring the quality of service provided did not cover all aspects of the care and facilities provided at the home.

“The lack of a quality monitoring system was a breach of Regulation 10 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.”

A new system was introduced by the CQC in April as an attempt to crack down on care provided in homes across the country, and arguably to rectify damage caused by the controversial Panorama documentary Behind Closed Doors aired in June of last year.

Such a revision of regulations will inevitably have a knock on effect on care home ratings, therefore disappointments such as those felt at Marland Court could be a sign of what’s to come.

Mr Leicester said: “We have gone into the business to care. We are probably guilty of not evidencing as much as we should. But our care is very good.

“We don’t come from a background where paper work is first and foremost. We’re more hands on people.

“We have always had ‘good’ for years. We are not outstanding. We’re not what I call the posh sector.

“It’s not just a care home to us. It’s our livelihood. It’s our life.

“With the rating system that we have had put on us, if this is a true reflection of how other care homes are going to be rated, I think there’s going to be a big problem.”

Image courtesy of Horia Varlan, with thanks.

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