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Ixworth Dementia Village near Bury St Edmunds rated 'inadequate' by Care Quality Commission

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A care home near Bury St Edmunds has been placed in special measures after being rated 'inadequate' by a watchdog.

Ixworth Dementia Village, which is run by Leaf Care Services Ltd, was judged by the Care Quality Commission to have breached regulations relating to safe care and treatment, medicines, consent procedures, staffing, nutrition, person-centered care and governance.

A report by the watchdog said: "Risks to people's health, safety and welfare were not managed effectively, placing them at significant risk."

Ixworth Dementia Village is based at Ixworth Court, Peddars Close, Ixworth. Picture: Google
Ixworth Dementia Village is based at Ixworth Court, Peddars Close, Ixworth. Picture: Google

The inspection of the facility at Ixworth Court, in Peddars Close, previously rated 'good', was prompted in part due to 'significant concerns' found during inspection of another service run by the provider.

Among the CQC's findings at the home, which cares for up to 24 people and consists of three houses, it said:

  • The number of staff at the service was not always sufficient to provide consistent, safe care for people.
The Care Quality Commission rated the facility 'inadequate'
The Care Quality Commission rated the facility 'inadequate'
  • The provider had not ensured there were enough numbers of suitably competent and skilled staff deployed effectively to support people safely.
  • A member of staff said: "They don't use agency staff here. You just never know what you are going to find when you get here. Lack of staff is a big issue here. Weekends are always a problem…you come in some days and there are just two staff across two [houses]."
  • A care worker and students under the age of 18 were providing direct care to people without the appropriate support and training.
  • The provider failed to ensure people were protected from the risk of avoidable harm.
  • Procedures staff followed to support people with their medicines were unsafe and therefore people were at risk of medicine errors and not receiving their medicines in line with the prescriber's instructions.
  • Several staff said there was often a difficult atmosphere at the service, one where they didn't feel able to speak up or report concerns for fear of repercussions.
  • There was little evidence seen of learning lessons when things go wrong, and the CQC found the provider reactive as opposed to learning and making improvements based on incidents.
  • The watchdog was not assured that people's nutritional needs were fully met.
  • Staff told of their concerns at the lack of food supplies towards the end of the week. A member of staff said: "There is not enough food. Every week we run out of things like bread and milk."

It noted that after the inspection, Leaf Care Services took steps to mitigate risks such as the voluntary suspension of any new admissions and increasing staffing levels.

They also employed the services of a health and social care consultant to create an action plan to improve.

The CQC said it would keep the service under review and reinspect within six months to check for significant improvements.

Leaf Care Services was approached for comment.