Aylsham care home management vows to improve after failing inspection

St'Michael's Court, Cawston Road, Aylsham; Official opening of St'Michael Court; This picture shows

St'Michael's Court, Cawston Road, Aylsham; Official opening of St'Michael Court; This picture shows a GV of the Building; For:EDP; Copy:Tracey Gray - Credit: Colin Finch

A residential home at the centre of a new complex built to improve care has failed in four out of five areas in a damning report.

St Michael's Court, part of the £14m St Michael's Care Complex in Aylsham, was inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on August 2.

The report, published yesterday, revealed action was needed in the following areas:

? Care and welfare of people who use services

? Management of medicines

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? Assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision

? Complaints

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The only area which met the CQC's standards was meeting nutritional needs.

Logan Logeswaran, managing director of Runwood Homes which runs St Michael's, said difficulties in recruiting qualified nurses contributed to the inspection result. But since then three nurses had been employed, along with a permanent manager.

The body of the report reflected the improvements in the home, particularly in nutrition, but there were still other areas that needed compliance.

He added: 'Unfortunately, with St Michael's we were in a bad situation but we will get this right.'

Mr Logeswaran said the staff were 'motivated' and relatives and residents groups were giving positive feedback about the home.

He was 'quietly confident the home would move forward'.

Essex-based Runwood Homes has brought in an independent body to monitor the home throughout the year.

Care minister and North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said: 'It is absolutely incumbent upon the company to act very fast to improve the standard of care. There is no doubt it is unacceptable.

'Unacceptable standards of care are intolerable wherever they are - in a private home, an NHS hospital or a charity run place.'

The 86-bedroom St Michael's Court opened in September 2010 and is part of the care complex which includes a health centre and pharmacy, community centre, and 30 apartments for independent living. The complex, which fully opened just before Christmas, sands in an area next to the redundant St Michael's Hospital.

Before the site off Cawston Road was opened there were fears that standards of care would decrease, compared to the NHS-run St Michael's Hospital.

The CQC report said there had been improvements with information about people's medicines; improvements with care planning; and significant improvements during meal times.

But criticisms included unsafe storage of substances, such as household cleaning solutions found in bedrooms of dementia patients, and failure to turn patients at risk from pressure areas on their skins.

Relatives'comments included 'a few niggles, but mainly happy', and 'the staff are lovely, they do their best.'

The report also highlighted that complaints were not always properly dealt with.

It added meal time help for patients had improved since an inspection in April 2013.

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