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Brookwood Manor Care Home in Little Waldingfield rated inadequate by Care Quality Commission

Failures to protect people from the risk of physical harm and the spread of infectious disease have been highlighted at a care home near Sudbury, in a damning report into conditions at the facility.

Brookwood Manor Care Home in Little Waldingfield was rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), just over a year after it had received a good rating, after inspectors concluded its safety provisions and leadership had significantly deteriorated.

The report, published last Tuesday, found that residents, many of whom have dementia, were “at risk of continued harm with inadequate action taken to safeguard them”, in breach of the requirements of the Health and Social Care Act.

Brookwood Manor care home, Little Waldingfield. Picture: Google Maps
Brookwood Manor care home, Little Waldingfield. Picture: Google Maps

The home has now been placed into special measures, meaning the service will remain under review, with a fresh inspection due within six months.

It follows a number of unannounced visits to the facility at Holbrook Hall Park by the CQC, in response to concerns it had received about reduced staffing levels, insufficient infection prevention measures and the lack of managerial oversight.

A team of four inspectors found that care provider Blue Ocean Brookwood Ltd did not have a registered manager in place at Brookwood Manor, while both staff numbers and morale were low, with one employee stating it “feels like firefighting all of the time”.

Care Quality Commission
Care Quality Commission

The regulatory body also noted that problems within the service were not effectively identified or acted upon, and that lessons were not learned from accidents and incidents when they occurred.

Safety issues highlighted include inadequate protections in the event of a fire, and people being at risk of suffering harm from “aggressive behaviour” of other residents.

“Accident and incident records identified numerous incidents of aggression between people, ranging between verbal assaults and physical attacks, where people were held down and hit or pushed,” the report reads.

“These frequently resulted in minor injuries and, on one occasion, a serious injury that required hospitalisation.

“Assessments of these risks had not always been completed for each person who displayed behaviour that challenged others. Where it had been completed, staff did not have any guidance about how to reduce risks to others.”

In addition, the report criticised the infection and control practices at the home, for failing to ensure the service was kept clean and hygienic, and for failing to take all the action they could to prevent the transmission of Covid-19.

The inspection team acknowledged that some people found it difficult to adhere to social distancing due to living with dementia, but determined that other risk-mitigation measures, such as restrictions on movement, were not in place.

The CQC confirmed it will meet with the service provider to discuss where and how improvements can be made, and it will work with the local authority to monitor progress of these changes.

Suffolk News has contacted Blue Ocean Brookwood for comment, but has not yet received a response.

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