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Failing care home is ordered to close

PUBLISHED: 08:50 02 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:40 02 August 2018

Northgate House care home, Hellesdon.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Northgate House care home, Hellesdon. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

A failing care home which was just one of 14 in the UK to be rated inadequate by inspectors in all areas has been ordered to closed.

Northgate House nursing home, in Hellesdon, called a residents’ meeting last night to break the news to those who live there and their relatives.

When the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited the home in March they highlighted a number of problems, including one resident losing 14kg in three months and staff not having Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

They placed Northgate House in special measures and said the management of service was “chaotic and disorganised” and that the provider was “continuing to fail those in their care”.

Last month operations manager Ziggy Ruhomutally admitted some things had gone wrong, but moved to reassure residents and their families that steps had already been taken to improve.

But a Norfolk County Council spokesman said yesterday: “Following an adverse inspection of Northgate House by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the issuing of a ‘notice of closure’, Norfolk County Council has taken the necessary decision to work with families and individuals to find alternative accommodation and support.

“Officers from the council are working closely with people to ensure their individual choices are respected and their accommodation and support is safe, well led and provides a positive environment.

“Norfolk County Council recognises how important it is for people to live in a safe and well-managed living environment and will continue to support the home while people are found alternative accommodation.”

Mr Ruhomutally previously said he was committed to ensuring his residents were safe.

He said: “I have to put my hands up as operations manager [...] but we’ve hand picked our new team, we’ve got a third party coming in and we’re getting people to come and work with us.”

He said, at the time, they were working closely with the CQC over their next steps.

Northgate House was contacted for comment but did not respond in time for publication.

Home cited in council crackdown

Northgate House was the subject of discussion when the county’s adult social care chief vowed inadequate care would not be tolerated last month.

James Bullion, executive director of adult social services at Norfolk County Council, said inadequate care homes which fail to get better would not be tolerated in Norfolk, as a drive was launched to improve quality.

The council is aiming to get at least 85pc of Norfolk care providers rated as good or better by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

At the moment the CQC says 75pc of providers are in those categories.

And Shelagh Gurney, county councillor for Hellesdon, said she had been contacted by concerned families about Northgate House.

Mr Bullion said: “We, of course, begin with supporting providers, but we are intolerant.

“We work on skills and leadership and put in support, but we are absolutely clear that we are intolerant, in that we do not want people in the care market who are not able to improve.”

Last month, Northgate House operations manager Ziggy Ruhomutally hit back at accusations it was unsafe and one of the worst in the country.

The home was named in a list of care homes judged by inspectors to be inadequate in every area, which was published in national newspaper the Mirror.

Hudgell Solicitors examined the 250 Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports

for inadequate homes across the country, and found 14

were ­inadequate in all five areas rated.

But Mr Ruhomutally distanced his home from others on the list, where he said there were more serious accusations.

He said: “I’ve got a great team here of caring professionals, no one has asked to leave the home, people are happy. I want to make sure my residents are safe and we’re making sure the place is rock solid, we’re a passionate care home and we’ve been established for over 30 years. I care for my residents, they are my family.”

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