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Norwich care home for people with sight loss rated ‘inadequate’ by inspectors

PUBLISHED: 15:09 02 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:09 02 February 2018

Thomas Tawell House, on Magpie Road, was rated “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following a three-day inspection in November 2017. Photo: Google

Thomas Tawell House, on Magpie Road, was rated “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following a three-day inspection in November 2017. Photo: Google

Archant

Thomas Tawell House, on Magpie Road, was given the lowest possible rating in three different areas by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The 36-bed residential home was visited by inspectors over a three-day period in November 2017.

It has now been put into special measures and has six months to improve before another inspection is due.

The Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind (NNAB), which owns the home, said it accepted the findings and was already working on an improvement plan.

The CQC report said the service had “further deteriorated” following its inspection in September 2016, which rated it as requiring improvement.

In the latest report, it said staffing levels were neither “sufficient” or “effective” to maintain people’s safety and meet their needs.

It also found the registered manager and staff were unable to demonstrate thorough knowledge of safeguarding procedures.

Staff told inspectors that due to staffing levels they were “unable to provide person-centred care”.

Another said they were stressed and over-worked.

Meanwhile, the registered manager at the time told inspectors they “did not have the knowledge or skills” to improve practice.

The report said the same manager admitted: “I don’t think my best is good enough”.

Richard Hanson, charity trustee, said the home’s registered manager at the time of the inspection has since resigned.

It is now managed by the charity’s new chief executive officer Gina Dormer, who was appointed in August last year.

Mr Hanson said the board was committed to providing sufficient resources to ensure an improvement plan was implemented.

Despite the rating, the report recognised efforts by the CEO to improve the service.

It said there had not been “enough time” between Mrs Dormer starting and the inspection for the areas within the improvement plan to be explored properly.

The home, which is for people aged over 65, had 29 residents at the time of the inspection.

NNAB response

Richard Hanson, trustee of the NNAB, said: “We accept the findings of the CQC report, and we are already working alongside the CQC in the implementation of an improvement plan.”

He said following the 2016 inspection, trustees sought to recruit a chief executive officer with the relevant skills and experience to devise and implement an improvement plan.

Mr Hanson said Mrs Dormer was appointed in August and her priority was to address the issues raised by the 2016 report.

He said: “After just 12 weeks in post, this latest CQC inspection came too soon for these measures to have had a significant effect.

“The latest CQC report does however acknowledge the work which had already been done prior to the inspection.

“Immediately following the inspection, the manager of Thomas Tawell House left the organisation.”

He said Mrs Dormer has taken over responsibility for management of the care home.

“We have unilaterally decided not to admit any new residents until we have been able to address the issues in the report,” Mr Hanson said.

“We take the findings of the inspection very seriously. We would like to reassure residents and their families that our priority is the wellbeing of residents in Thomas Tawell House.

“The board will provide support and sufficient resources to ensure that the improvement plan can be fully and effectively implemented, and we are committed to working with the CQC to ensure that Thomas Tawell House provides a safe, effective, caring responsive and well-led home for its residents.”

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