A care home resident with dementia was left without food for three days, according to an official report.

The incident was among a series of concerns highlighted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following an inspection at Church Farm, in Hemsby.

They placed the facility, which is home to 40 people, in special measures, rating it inadequate in every area.

The watchdog said the home was not meeting “basic needs” and that “privacy and dignity was not always respected”.

Inspectors who visited the home identified a number of cases of residents not being fed properly, with some not eating for more than 24 hours.

It comes after a report revealed Norfolk and Waveney to have the highest rates of malnutrition in the country - particularly among the elderly community and in coastal areas.

However, bosses at the home have “strongly refuted” the claim about the resident not being fed for three days, insisting it was a recording error and accusing the CQC of drawing "inaccurate and unfair conclusions".

Among the CQC's other findings were that:

  • Continence products were left in corridors, next to fire escapes and on show in bedrooms;
  • Staff failed to respond quickly to requests for help using the toilet;
  • There were concerns over how the home managed medicine, with stock levels being poorly monitored;
  • Residents lacked personalised care for their specific needs.

The inspection was held from October 31 until November 2, three months after the home was taken over by new owners, Hewitt-Hill Ltd, part of the Ashley Care Group.

Inspectors said the provider had not done enough to understand the challenges the home was facing.

Gill Hodgson-Reilly, of the CQC, said: "It was clear to us that the service wasn't well-led. 

"The new provider hadn't conducted thorough reviews and assessment when they took over the service, so weren't aware of the areas where improvements needed to be made.

"This poor leadership was behind most of the issues we found.

"The service wasn't meeting people's basic needs in areas like making sure they eat and drink enough.

"This is unacceptable and we made referrals to the local safeguarding team and told leaders at the time of the inspection to address this immediately.

"If sufficient progress hasn't been made, we will not hesitate to take further action to ensure people's safety and wellbeing."

The CQC placed the home into special measures and is taking further enforcement action against the organisation - which will be made public at a later date.

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But Ania George, financial director of Hewitt-Hill Ltd, said the issues were "inherited shortfalls in practices", with the organisation having purchased the business in July.

She said: "We were aware of the requirements to make improvements at the home and were in the process of addressing relevant areas when the CQC inspected.

"Unfortunately, the inspection took place before we had the opportunity to fully review, implement and embed necessary improvements.

"We are disappointed with the outcome of the latest inspection, particularly as the CQC has failed to take into account the home's programme of improvement, has failed to report on the positive changes that have taken place, and has not allowed sufficient time for planned improvement to be fully implemented and embedded."

She went on to "strongly refute" the claims that a resident had gone three days without food.

She added: "While it is recognised there was a lack of recording of food intake, this is simply a recording error and does not reflect the actual care provided to the resident.

"The CQC has drawn inaccurate and unfair conclusions without corroborating its evidence appropriately.

"It has been over two months since the CQC inspection took place and we have continued to progress improvements during this time."

Since the inspection, a new manager has been put in place at the home, with an action plan being prepared to address the concerns in the inspection.

Ms George added: "The health, safety and welfare of our residents is our utmost priority."