Make-or-break inspection for care home that has failed three times

PUBLISHED: 11:32 11 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:32 11 January 2020

St Michael's Court, Aylsham. Picture: Runwood Homes

St Michael's Court, Aylsham. Picture: Runwood Homes


The team at a Norfolk care home that has been slammed by inspectors three times in the past 10 months are confident they have turned things around.

St Michael's Court in Aylsham is in special measures having been rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after inspections in December 2018, May 2019 and September 2019.

The home should be assessed again within the next month or so, and Runwood Homes, which operates St Michael's Court, is confident it can avoid closure - which the home faces if again rated inadequate.

A spokesman said a "robust" action plan had been put in place and a new team of nursing and care staff had been recruited.

He said: "We are now ready for re-inspection by the regulator to demonstrate the improvements across our service.

"A skilled, professional and highly regarded nurse manager now leads our service with exceptional feedback from our residents, staff and visitors.

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"We are very confident the regulator will concur and hope to see our home returned to an overall 'good' rating in line with the vast and sustained improvements we have described."

When last inspected St Michael's Court - a specialist dementia care home - was operating at less than half its capacity of 86 residents.

The most recent CQC report said residents were exposed to potentially harmful situations due to poor management, and staffing was unreliable due to a reliance on agency staff.

The report said inspectors saw a dirty item of clothing in a communal bathroom on both days of the inspection, meaning a risk of infection.

It said one resident, who was at risk of falling, regularly walked into another's bedroom at night and woke them up. Inspectors found residents were not always seen when they needed help due to lack of staff, and the home was operating without a registered manager. But residents and relatives also told inspectors they felt staff kept them safe, and treated them with privacy and respect.

The CQC said if enough improvements were not seen at the next inspection: "We will begin the process of preventing the provider from operating this service."

The CQC re-inspects 'inadequate' care homes within six months.

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