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The Willows care home in Ipswich suspended from new admissions and issued with three warning notices after inadequate Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating





A residential care home in a Suffolk town has been issued with three warning notices following an inadequate rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The Willows in Crabbe Street, Ipswich, has dropped from good to an inadequate rating overall and cared for 57 people at the time of an inspection in March.

Suffolk County Council has carried out a separate safeguarding investigation and has now suspended new admissions to the home.

Admissions to The Willows in Ipswich have been suspended and three warning notices have been issued after an inadequate rating from the Care Quality Commission. Picture: Google Maps
Admissions to The Willows in Ipswich have been suspended and three warning notices have been issued after an inadequate rating from the Care Quality Commission. Picture: Google Maps

People shared safety concerns over The Willows with the CQC and the ratings for how safe and well-led the service is have dropped from good to inadequate.

The home has dropped from good to requires improvement for being effective, caring, and responsive as well.

CQC has issued three warning notices in relation to safety, staffing and management with immediate improvements in these areas to be focused on.

Hazel Roberts, CQC deputy director of operations in the East of England, said: “We were very concerned to find people’s needs and preferences weren’t being met safely at The Willows.

“We found there was not enough staff, the home wasn’t acting to reduce risks and people’s individual needs were frequently overlooked.

“Staff weren’t regularly supporting people with their personal care, such as bathing and brushing their teeth, which compromised their dignity and risked their health. This reflected a severe shortage of staff, which was worsened by gaps in staff training and poor care records, with some people telling us that staff didn’t know how to support them.

“Inspectors found staff weren’t always recording safety incidents and these weren’t always acted on or raised as safeguarding concerns to keep people safe.

“Our inspectors saw one person kick another in a communal area when there weren’t any staff around.

“When we alerted staff, they told us these two residents were often in conflict. However, nothing had been done to address this or make sure they were safe.

“Leaders were unaware of the problems in the service, despite many of them being clearly visible to our inspectors when walking around the home.”

Ms Roberts said they will monitor the care home closely to ensure people are safe in the meantime and won’t hesitate to take further action if improvements are not made quickly.

Mixed concerns were raised by people about the safety and low staffing.

CQC inspectors were told that staff were slow to respond to call bells and were not kind, while inspectors saw some individual staff acting in caring ways.

The CQC report said inspectors also found people’s care records were poor quality and were not always up to date with people’s risks which meant staff didn’t always understand how to manage individual needs.

Staff reportedly didn’t always ask people’s consent to provide care and the service didn’t always make decisions in line with the Mental Capacity Act, which risks infringing people’s human rights.

Leaders at the home have been inconsistent and failed to sustain previous improvements to the service, having had six registered managers since 2018, the report added.

The Willows care home has been approached for a comment.