Care home told to improve or face closure

Clarence House residential home in Mundesley, owned by Ipswich-based Cephas Care. Picture: Google St

Clarence House residential home in Mundesley, owned by Ipswich-based Cephas Care. - Credit: Google StreetView

Steps to close down a care home in north Norfolk will begin within months if its operator fails to improve conditions, the health watchdog has said. 

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated Clarence House Care Home in Sea View Road, Mundesley, 'Inadequate' and kept it in special measures, which it first imposed in November last year.

But the home's operators, Ipswich-based Cephas Care, said they felt "frustrated" that the CQC's latest report - published after an inspection on March 15 and 25 - did not reflect the "positive progress or hard work" which had taken place there.

There were 21 people - some of whom have dementia - living at Clarence House when inspectors last visited.

The CQC's report said: "The condition of the care environment was poor, people were not being protected from accessing risk items and areas of risk within the service, and we identified areas of concern in relation to infection prevention and control practices.

"People were raising concerns with staff and members of the management team for example in relation to their medicines, and these were not being acted on.

"Three people gave examples of where staff had been unkind to them, for example refusing to give a person pain relief and telling them to go back to sleep, and two people telling us staff had told them off for being incontinent or needing to use their call bell regularly to ask to use the toilet."

One of the rooms at Clarence House in Mundesley. 

One of the rooms at Clarence House in Mundesley. - Credit: Supplied by Cephas Care

The CQC said it would reinspect the service within six months and if enough improvements had not been made, they would "begin the process of preventing the provider from operating this service".

Rachael Robertson, director for adult and community services at Cephas Care. 

Rachael Robertson, director for adult and community services at Cephas Care.  - Credit: Stuart Anderson

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Rachael Robertson, Cephas' director for adult and community services, said they were "extremely disappointed" with the outcome of the inspection.

She said the report had inaccuracies, which they challenged with additional evidence, but the CQC had not changed its stance. She said the CQC had judged them on the standard of a bathroom which had not been used as such for many years. 

Ms Robertson said: "We are fully committed to Clarence House and remain focused on ensuring that further progress is made. We took immediate action on the day and days following inspection ensuring that areas which were considered urgent were rectified immediately, I am assured that there are no areas of risk within the service."

Ms Robertson said they had a "robust action and improvement plan" in place, as well as a refurbishment plan, although this had been hindered by the pandemic.

She said Cephas wanted to thank its employees for their dedication and hard work in what had been a difficult year for the care sector, as well as the relatives and friends of the home who had offered words of support.