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Care home told it must improve for third successive time

PUBLISHED: 14:25 26 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:25 26 November 2019

The CQC says Merle Boddy House on Norwich Road, Dereham, 'requires improvement'. Picture: Archant

The CQC says Merle Boddy House on Norwich Road, Dereham, 'requires improvement'. Picture: Archant

Archant

A care home for adults with learning difficulties is failing to meet the needs and preferences of its residents, according to a new report.

But Mid Norfolk Mencap, the charity which runs Merle Boddy House in Dereham, has pointed to a "national crisis" in the care industry following the Care Quality Commission's (CQC) latest assessment.

The service, based on Norwich Road, was told it 'requires improvement' across the board after a series of unannounced inspections in October.

The visiting inspector concluded the same level of improvement was needed when judging whether the home was safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

It means Merle Boddy House has been told it requires improvement on three successive occasions and will likely face a re-inspection next year.

The CQC says Merle Boddy House on Norwich Road, Dereham, 'requires improvement'. Picture: ArchantThe CQC says Merle Boddy House on Norwich Road, Dereham, 'requires improvement'. Picture: Archant

In its published report, the CQC said risk assessments at the home were "not robust", with a lack of guidance given to staff on how to manage and support those who exhibit challenging behaviour.

Staff admitted during the inspection that not enough people were employed to meet the needs of residents.

Issues were also encountered when it came to the thoroughness of staff training, while residents were not always given the means to maintain a healthy diet.

Staff members were, however, found to treat people with "respect and kindness", and the inspector highlighted a homely atmosphere and personal level of interaction.

But crucially it was decided Merle Boddy House was failing to provide person-centred care that enabled residents to have their preferences met, breaching the Health and Social Care Act in the process.

Failure to make required improvements following the previous inspection was regarded as a further breach.

A spokesman for Mid Norfolk Mencap, said: "We were all very disappointed to have had a 'requires improvement' rating. An action plan has been put into place and we are working hard to improve the rating to good or better.

"We must acknowledge that there is a national crisis for staff in the care industry which affects us.

"We must also be aware that there is a financial crisis in the industry and we as a charity work hard to give individuals the support and care they rightfully deserve."

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