Sussex care home criticised by health watchdogs

Upper Mead care home, Henfield. Photo: Google SUS-160526-130909001
Upper Mead care home, Henfield. Photo: Google SUS-160526-130909001

A care home for elderly people in Henfield has been criticised following an inspection by health watchdogs.

A report by the Care Quality Commission found that residents of Upper Mead care home in Fabians Way, Henfield, were ‘at risk of harm because risks had not been minimised effectively’.

Overall, the commission rated the care home - run by SHC Clemsfold Group - as ‘requiring improvement’ and that ‘an incident of possible neglect’ had not been reported.

The care home provides care and nursing for people aged over, 65, some of whom have dementia.

The commission found that people in their rooms were not alwys responded to promptly if they were unable to use a call bell and that weight loss or gain, and fluid intake, was not always measured or checked.

In its report, the commission stated: “We found that people were at risk of harm because risks had not been minimised effectively through appropriate support and regular monitoring.

“Staff and the registered manager were able to speak knowledgeably about safeguarding people from abuse but the registered manager had failed to notify the local authority safeguarding team about an incident of possible neglect.

“The provider had failed to display the rating received following our last inspection, which meant that people using the service and relatives may not have been informed of our findings. The provider had also failed to notify the commission of specified incidents as required by law.”

Upper Mead was rated ‘requires improvement’ in four areas: safety, effectiveness, responsiveness and leadership. It was rated good for ‘care’.

Inspectors found that the atmosphere in the main part of the care home was “warm and lively with people able to participate in a range of activities,” but they found that some dementia patients had ‘few opportunities to engage in activities’. However, further staff training was being implemented to deal with the problem.

The premises were well-equipped, added the report, relatives spoke highly of the service and staff team, and patients enjoyed the food provided.

But, added the inspectors: “We found breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.”

A spokesperson for Upper Mead care home said: “We take feedback from the CQC very seriously, and welcome their comments that the home is caring and residents are treated with dignity and respect. The health and wellbeing of all of our residents is our absolute priority, and as soon as the inspection took place in March we put in place an action plan to address the areas where further improvement is required.

“With this action plan in place, and with the staff team at the home receiving additional support from our senior management team, we are confident the home is providing good quality care in all areas. We look forward to demonstrating this at our next inspection.”