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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Inspectors swoop on Cumbrian care home after abuse concerns

Inspectors swooped on a Penrith care home for an emergency inspection after allegations of abuse.

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Report: Beacon Edge nursing home in Penrith. Three people have been arrested and police continue to investigate allegations of abuse

Three people were arrested after police were called to investigate concerns at Beacon Edge Specialist Nursing Home, in Beacon Edge.

Detectives from Cumbria police’s public protection unit are continuing to look into the allegations.

As a result of the concerns, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – the independent regulator of social care – carried out an unannounced visit.

The inspectors visited the BUPA-run home in November, but the report has just been made public.

It explains that an inspection earlier this year found the home to be compliant but, following allegations of abuse, they revisited.

“These allegations were thoroughly investigated by the police,” the inspectors’ report said. “We carried out this responsive inspection to check if people who used the service were currently being cared for to a good standard, that staff knew how to report concerns and that there were sufficient staff to care for people appropriately.”

The inspection specifically looked at three key basic standards: care and welfare of people who use services; safeguarding people who use services from abuse; and staffing.

The home was found to have met all the standards, and inspectors were reassured that there are no concerns.

The report says: “Due to the abuse allegations Beacon Edge had suspended, or were no longer employing, three members of staff. We asked the home manager how they were ensuring that there were sufficient staff remaining at the home to provide care for the people who lived there.

“They told us they had recruited extra members of staff as part of their on-going recruitment programme. On the day of our inspection we met two staff who had recently started working at the home and were made aware that two others were due to start work in the near future.”

On the day of the visit the duty rota revealed the majority of shifts were covered and there were two qualified nurses on shift during the day.

It continues: “We spoke with four relatives that were visiting the home at the time of our inspection. Some were positive about the home, some less so.

“All agreed that the home had improved recently.”

A spokeswoman for Beacon Edge Specialist Nursing Home said: “We’re pleased the Care Quality Commission has recognised the quality of care we provide. We are committed to exceeding regulatory standards in all our homes.”

The concerns over the standards of care by some staff members came at a time when the News & Star was highlighting issues surrounding adult social care in Cumbria. A number of homes assessed by the CQC were found to be failing basic standards, from cleanliness to staffing.

The most extreme were reported as leaving residents at risk of malnutrition or dehydration.

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