Struggling Thorpe St Andrew care home is on the road to recovery
The future of a previously struggling care home in Thorpe St Andrew is looking much brighter following an improved report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Larchwood Nursing and Residential Home, in Yarmouth Road, has suffered a turbulent year which saw its parent company, Bondcare Ltd, ordered to make immediate improvements in July.
An unannounced CQC inspection in February concluded that Larchwood was not meeting essential standards and Norfolk County Council voluntarily agreed not to take in any new admissions until the issues were resolved.
Then in July a report published the findings of an unannounced CQC visit to Larchwood on June 11 and issued a formal warning after inspectors discovered breaches of procedure.
But a report of an inspection held on October 10 has revealed Larchwood is once again compliant with minimum standards.
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The county council, which placed 26 of the current 36 residents at Larchwood, is now also making new placements at the home again - but will not place more than one new person at the home in a week, to ensure the improvements can be sustained.
Comments to the inspectors from people at the home included 'since (the new manager) has been here, it's been great - it was not good before' and 'there used to be too many agency staff - these girls (the staff) know their jobs well'.
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The CQC report states: 'We spoke with three members of staff who all confirmed they felt the previous issues with regards to adequate staffing of the home were improving. People using the service also commented on the improvements they had seen.
'Our observations during the day demonstrated that the environment was calm, call bells did not remain unanswered for long periods of time and staff were enabled to spend time with people during lunchtime to hold conversation.
'We found that the home had made improvements following our last inspection. We found that all the actions required to be met following our review of compliance in June 2012 had been met.'
Other general observations picked up on by the inspectors was that people were well presented, with men clean shaven, people's finger nails clean and residents being dressed in appropriate clean clothing.
The report has come as very welcome news for Bondcare, with a spokesman for the home saying: 'The manager and staff at the home have worked extremely hard to implement positive and sustainable improvements.
'We are delighted that this has been recognised and acknowledged by the CQC. The home has received many positive comments from residents and relatives and we thank them for their fantastic support.'
While Debbie Olley, assistant director of the county council's community services department, added: 'We're really pleased Larchwood has made these improvements and I hope the findings of the latest CQC inspection will be very reassuring to the home's residents and their relatives.
'Staff and management at Larchwood have put in a lot of hard work over the past few months. Our own staff together with colleagues at NHS Norfolk and Waveney have supported the team at Larchwood to get to this stage, and we'll continue to monitor and work with them as they seek to make further improvements.'
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