Nursing home given one last chance

Douglas Bank nursing home, Appley Bridge
Douglas Bank nursing home, Appley Bridge

The new director of a suspended nursing home has pledged to bring it back from the brink of closure following a long history of shocking safety standards.

Douglas Bank Nursing Home in Appley Bridge has been temporarily suspended by Lancashire County Council and an official notice to withdraw the home's registration was initially put in by the Care Quality Commission, which deemed it "inadequate".

But the nursing home, which has been found to have leave vulnerable residents stranded in wheelchairs and dangerous wires trailing across the floor, has been given one last lifeline in the form of a new owner.

A CQC report, released on August 7, revealed a number of worrying behaviours from staff, resulting in injury to its elderly residents.

"During the course of our inspection we saw two very unsafe moving and handling manoeuvres when transferring people from one chair to another," the report stated.

"These observations put people at risk of injury and one incident resulted in a person wincing and shouting out "Ow, you've hurt my hand!". This individual had sustained a cut to their finger.

"We observed one person sitting in a wheelchair for long periods of time. There were no footplates in place and therefore this person's feet and legs were unsupported.

"We spoke with a family member of this person who told us that their relative had a tendency to fall forward due to poor sitting balance.

"We also observed one person being moved backwards in a reclining chair without any warning. The individual appeared alarmed at this sudden movement."

Bernie Suresparan, who took over the Tudor Bank Group Ltd, which runs Douglas Bank, has 11 years experience of running care homes.

He said: "When it bought it there was a temporary suspension and a notice of withdrawal of registration.

"The last meeting we had with the CQC was very, very positive. The CQC has withdrawn its notification.

"I was fully aware of the problems at the home and I am determined to put them right.

"I personally think the handover went very smoothly. They carefully chose us. I am not a first-time owner. I have homes in Harrogate all the way to Blackpool.

"The homes we have bought are in the same area so will have the ability to all support each other. I don't have any inadequate care homes."

Although an independent care home, Douglas Bank remains under closure from Lancashire County Council.

Tony Pounder, the authority's adult services director, said: "We are concerned at the findings in the latest inspection report.

"In such circumstances we work closely with the CQC and neighbouring councils to ensure the residents are safe, essential improvements are made and that both residents and their families are properly informed of the situation and their options."