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‘Inadequate’ Tittleshall care home to close ahead of damning CQC report

PUBLISHED: 18:12 19 October 2017 | UPDATED: 08:41 20 October 2017

Courtenay House, Tittleshall. Photo: Ian Burt

Courtenay House, Tittleshall. Photo: Ian Burt

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A mid-Norfolk care home has announced its closure ahead of the publication of a damning report into its failing standards of care.

Courtenay House, Tittleshall. Photo: Ian Burt Courtenay House, Tittleshall. Photo: Ian Burt

Courtenay House will close before the results of its latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection are revealed, which rated the home ‘inadequate’.

Directors of the Tittleshall home announced its closure on Thursday, October 19, following an internal review.

A copy of the CQC report, which is yet to be published, has been seen by this newspaper. The recent inspections, on August 30 and September 7, identified 14 breaches of care regulations.

The report states the service was unsafe, and risks to residents welfare were not identified.

Staff also did not always respect and maintain people’s dignity, according to the inspectors.

A relative of one of the home’s residents said: “For the last 18 months the state of the home has deteriorated rapidly.

“I have complained numerous times about the lack of basic care and hygiene my mum received, in terms of having a bath or a wash.

“Staff were being promoted into positions they weren’t capable of fulfilling. I don’t know how they allowed it to get so bad, and do nothing about it. Staff morale is at rock bottom.”

Amanda Cunningham, care services director at Four Seasons Health Care, which operates the home, said: “The proposal to cease operating Courtenay House has not been arrived at easily.

“We have difficulties recruiting and retaining nurses and carers with the right level of skill.

“We have been concerned that Courtenay House has not been meeting the standards that we expect our homes to provide.

“This was confirmed during a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

“We are not prepared to see the home continue to struggle.”

She added: “The wellbeing of residents is our priority and we will work closely with Norfolk county council’s social services team to ensure residents and their families find suitable alternative placements.

“The company is beginning a consultation process with the care team about the proposed closure.”

The home currently has 23 residents, who are being cared for 26 permanent members of staff.

Staff, residents, and relatives were informed of the decision to close the home in the afternoon of Thursday, October 19.

Company behind closing care home ‘unable’ to make interest payments

The company behind Courtenay House care home, Four Seasons Health Care, is facing mounting debt.

Four Seasons, Britain’s biggest care provider, appealed to lenders to agree to a debt restructure.

It made the move in the hope of preventing a cashflow crisis that would leave hundreds of care homes across the UK facing uncertain futures.

Four Seasons Health Care is owned by Terra Firma.

It is aiming to have the agreement made before it is due to make a £26m payment on its interest in December.

It warned it would be unable to make the payment, which would see bondholders seizing control of 360 nursing homes, a move likely to trigger intervention by the Care Quality Commission.

Four Seasons chair Robbie Barr said: “There will be no impact on our operations as a result of this announcement as the proposal ensures there is appropriate liquidity in place to operate our homes and hospitals.”

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