Care home residents had ‘unexplained marks’ on bodies

PUBLISHED: 08:10 18 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:00 18 July 2020

Heathers care home in Pollard Street, near Bacton in north Norfolk. Picture: Google StreetView

Heathers care home in Pollard Street, near Bacton in north Norfolk. Picture: Google StreetView


Vulnerable residents at a care home that was already in special measures had “unexplained marks” on their bodies when inspectors returned, a report has revealed.

And those living at Heathers Care Home, near Bacton, only found out the facts about Covid-19 by watching the TV, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said.

The health watchdog has again rated the home ‘inadequate’ after the inspection on June 2, 11 and 16. Evidence of residents being abused by staff was found at the previous inspection on March 5 and Heathers was put into special measures.

The CQC said marks on residents’ bodies were explained “as being the result of distressed behaviour” but this was not witnessed or recorded.

The latest report said: “This meant that the service could not be assured that these marks had happened as a result of distressed behaviour and not as a result of the actions of staff.”

File photo of Tugay Akman, chief executive of Jeesal. Picture: Colin FinchFile photo of Tugay Akman, chief executive of Jeesal. Picture: Colin Finch

MORE: Shocking inspection uncovers hidden abuse at care home

The CQC also found staff were not using PPE or doing any extra cleaning due to the pandemic.

The report said: “Staff told us they had not received guidance from the provider about Covid-19 and they said people using the service learned about the virus through ‘watching TV’.”

At the time of the inspection Heathers was home to eight people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health conditions.

Tugay Akman, chief executive of Dereham-based Jeesal Residential Care Services, which runs Heathers, said he was “disappointed” to read the CQC’s report.

Mr Akman said: “We will be apologising to service users, their families and our fellow professionals for the current inadequate rating.

“The service is fully compliant with Covid-19 guidance. Like all care providers we had difficulty accessing the required PPE. However, with tremendous support from Norfolk and Waveney (CCG) Clinical Commissioning Group and Norfolk County Council, we have sufficient supplies in all our services including the Heathers.”

Matthew Jenkins, the CQC’s head of inspection for adult social care, said they had asked Jeesal for an action plan to improve Heathers, and would re-inspect the care home within six months.

Mr Jenkins said: “The service failed to properly assess and manage risks, particularly risks in relation to people’s distressed behaviours.

“Communication with people and their relatives was poor. The service did not actively engage the support of professionals to improve the quality of care for people unless it was at crisis point.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press