Bluewater Care Home in Portsmouth launches legal battle against CQC
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The director of Bluewater Care Home in North End, Dave Sheppard, has taken the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to court over what he claims are unfounded inspection reports.
The CQC visits care providers and rates them based on their findings. Mr Sheppard suggests that a dispute with inspectors led to the care home receiving inaccurate ratings, with a series 'inadequate' gradings. Mr Sheppard later summoned independent inspectors who rated the care home as 'outstanding'.
Opening the tribunal at Havant Justice Centre and representing the CQC, James Harrison suggested that improvements made since the first inadequate inspection ‘cannot be sustained’.
He said: 'The breaches [found at inspections] are relatively minor but they go together to cause concerns. That is exacerbated by the care home’s history of non-compliance and that Bluewater is currently at around 25 per cent capacity.
‘From the 2023 inspection there are issues relating to treatment of skin breakdown in residents, as well as a failure to accurately monitor blood sugar levels in diabetics, which has led to involvement of third-party professionals.
‘Service users have been exposed to risks of harm and may be again in the future. The CQC is not convinced that issues that have been solved can be sustained, nor are they meaningful improvements – and we deny the allegation of inaccurate facts in CQC reports.
‘The tribunal is invited to dismiss the appeal.’
There are currently 12 residents at Bluewater - nine of whom are living with dementia, the court heard.
Speaking in court, Mr Sheppard said: ‘The social workers are happy with the residents that remain. The relatives have all given us their support.
‘These residents are literally begging me to stay open, and the local authority has made no attempt to move residents out of Bluewater.’
The court also heard how Mr Sheppard is considering inviting involved parties to visit the care home as part of the case.
The tribunal, overseen by Judge Dowell, is expected to last 12 days. Due to Mr Sheppard's poor health in recent months, the case has now been adjourned until Thursday.