Care home closes as inspectors find problems remain

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A CARE home has closed and its owners have put it up for sale after it was criticised by the health regulator.

Inspectors visited Ferndale House unannounced and found improvements were not made since their last visit.

Sidney Bowles is a director of Firethorn Care, which owns the dementia care home in Grove Road, Gosport.

He said the Care Quality Commission reports meant Hampshire County Council would not refer people to it.

‘The CQC placed a lot of requirements on it, which effectively put a stop on having residents,’ he said.

‘The local authority was perfectly happy with what the home was doing. Because CQC wasn’t happy, the council said they couldn’t place any residents there. It was very difficult to continue.’

He said he could not answer points from the CQC report as his son ran the home.

But he said there were problems with Agincare, which ran the home until December 2012. Agincare’s operations director Caroline Dale said it had a fully compliant CQC report when it was in charge and shortly after it left.

The 18-bedroom home freehold is listed at £700,000 for sale or £40,000 a year to rent.

In its November 2013 report the CQC found the wrong dose of pain relief was given to a resident. One of the people who gave it was not trained in giving medicine safely.

It also found there was a lack of understanding of a mental health law, designed to protect people who can’t make their own decisions.

In the three areas inspectors looked at, two needed further action and one, the management of medicines, needed enforcement action.

The follow-up report published last month after the unannounced inspection said staff had to deal with an outbreak of infection without leadership and the home had no ‘effective systems’ to reduce risk of it spreading.

Some areas were unclean, with missing toilet seats, and clean and dirty laundry stored near each other. It was not compliant in six areas, including in areas already criticised. CQC said people were treated with respect.

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, the council’s executive member for adult social care, said it had helped the owner.

She said: ‘Following the owner’s decision to close the home, we worked with other placing authorities to review the care needs of individual residents and to find them all alternative accommodation.’