‘Incompetent’ staff at care home led to its closure after six months

Staff at Cawston Lodge care home, which closed after six months, were described as "incompetent" by

Staff at Cawston Lodge care home, which closed after six months, were described as "incompetent" by CQC. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

'Incompetent and untrained' staff led to the closure of a care home which received the worst possible rating by a health watchdog.

Cawston Lodge, in Paul Engelhard Way, Cawston, opened in May 2019 after the building stood empty for a decade.

It closed six months later in November following a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection that month.

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The CQC found in its review of the care home that there were not enough competent trained staff to meet people's needs.

In a report published on January 24, inspectors said some of the 17 residents at the care home were being unlawfully restricted for the benefit of the staff. The report states: "The staff had not received appropriate training and did not understand you could not physically encourage people to stay in one place."

In one incident, wheelchair users who moved from tables were brought back by staff who would put the brakes on to stop them from moving.

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In another incident, an inspector had to intervene when an unsupervised resident walked into another person's bedroom, causing them distress.

It was noted that staff looked "visibly fearful" when dealing with people with challenging behaviours, including those with dementia and mental health needs, as they lacked knowledge on such conditions.

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While extra staff had been recruited at the time of the inspection, the CQC said they "simply did not know what needed to be done".

There were also concerns over medicine, which were "administered by untrained staff and mistakes were made".

But inspectors said staff were open and honest about the lack of training and described them as "mostly caring and sensitive individuals who were upset they had not been supported".

The care home was rated inadequate in all areas.

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The CQC said the inspection was prompted partly due to concerns raised about "staff culture, levels and competence and the care provided".

The CQC issued an urgent notice for immediate action to care home provider JNS Holdings, but it closed the home.

Norfolk County Council ended its contract with the care home in November and all residents were moved to other services.

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