Dementia care home in St Neots is placed in special measures after being ruled unsafe by the CQC

Bethany Francis House in St Neots

Bethany Francis House in St Neots - Credit: Archant

A care home in St Neots has been put into ‘special measures’ after a report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

A care home in St Neots has been put into ‘special measures’ following a damning report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Bethany Francis House, in Cambridge Street,, was given an inadequate rating by the CQC after an impromptu inspection in September following whistle-blowing concerns.

The damning report, which was published last week, stated the care home was “unsafe”, “poorly led” and “not effective”.

Inspectors found risks associated with fire safety, aspiration and choking, medicine management, incidents, including those of a sexual nature, triggered by people’s mental state and/or dementia.

The care home had a “required improvement” rating from an earlier inspection on February 21 and March 21 this year.

When the CQC returned, the home was still in breach of regulations and had failed to improve.

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A high staff turnover also meant it could not support the 23 residents.

The service has been put into specials measures and with be kept under review and if it does not improve, its providers registration will be cancelled.

Residents living at Bethany Francis House are living with varying levels of dementia, and are dependant on staff for health, safety, well-being and support.

The report stated that one person in bed with their call bell out of reach told inspectors: “I wish I could escape from here.”

People were said to be unsafe in relation to medicine management, infection control, the environment and risk to health and welfare.

The report also explained how staff had been recording residents to have taken their medication when they actually hadn’t.

The report read: “On one occasion, a staff member removed people’s individual medicines from their original named packaging and placed all together in a pot to take to the person; also known as ‘secondary dispensing’.

“This is unsafe practice due to the risk of difficulty in identifying medicines should the pots be dropped, inadvertently mixed up or refused.”

The care home, run by ADR Care Homes Ltd, will be re-inspected in six months.

A spokesman said: “We are naturally concerned and disappointed with the findings of this report.

“We believe this follows a period of manager instability after the resignation of a long-term manager.

“We have taken steps to remedy the situation through the appointment of outside consultants who are working to make significant changes to the management structure and day to day operations. We have and continue to invest significantly in improving the facilities and we are expanding the team at Bethany Francis House, in order to deliver our vision for its turnaround.

“We have put in place measures to prevent these issues reoccurring.”