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Devonshire House care home in Cavendish pledges improvements after CQC report identifies safety failings

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A Suffolk care home has pledged to take action to improve its safeguarding procedures, after a regulator warned it had identified failings in its latest inspection.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated Devonshire House in Cavendish as requiring improvement in a report published this month – a setback from the good rating given to the facility in 2019.

A focused inspection on the home’s safety and leadership was carried out in April, in response to concerns the CQC had received 'in relation to the number of falls, medication errors and unexplained bruising'.

Devonshire House care home in Cavendish. Picture: Mecha Morton
Devonshire House care home in Cavendish. Picture: Mecha Morton

Subsequently, inspectors concluded that, while staff members had undergone safeguarding training and procedures were in place, these systems were not always followed and were not robust enough, placing people at risk of harm.

It cited the lack of a safeguarding referral, investigation, healthcare advice or treatment for five recorded incidents, where residents had been found with physical ailments.

“Staff were not always following safety procedures to ensure that risks in the home are reduced,” the report read.

“We saw the risk assessments for two people that stated, when they had unexplained bruising, staff should seek advice from a healthcare professional. However, this had not happened.

“The provider’s quality assurance system had not always been effective at identifying areas for improvement and ensuring action was taken in a timely manner.

“There had been a lack of robust oversight to ensure safe care was being provided to people.

“For example, appropriate action had not been taken in response to someone developing blisters on their toe.

“Although it had been recorded in their care plan, no medical attention had been sought. This issue had not been identified until we raised it during the inspection.”

However, inspectors noted that the management team had been receptive to their feedback, and had 'showed their commitment to making the improvements needed' when issues were raised.

The report set out an action plan, calling for Devonshire House to ensure that safeguarding measures were followed to keep residents safe and protect them from abuse or improper treatment, and implement more effective quality assurance systems.

In response, Devonshire House district manager Deborah De Beer said: “We treat CQC reports seriously and immediately implemented a robust action plan.

“We are pleased that the report contained positive feedback from residents and relatives who use our services, and we are committed to following the Care Quality Commission’s guidance on areas where we could make improvements.

“We have already made significant changes – such as implementing new reporting systems and putting new management in place – and are confident in our ability to restore Devonshire House care home to our usual high standard of care.

“Our residents’ wellbeing is always paramount.”