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Wigan care home taken out of special measures

Acorns care centre
Acorns care centre

A troubled Wigan care home is no longer in special measures, but continues to breach health and social care regulations, say health watchdogs.

Concerns have been raised about safe care and treatment at Acorns Care Centre in Hindley once again, following a recent inspection by Care Quality Commissioners.

Enforcement action was taken by the authority following a visit by inspectors last November, following which the service was rated as “inadequate” and put into special measures.

Prior to this in May 2017, Wigan and Leigh magistrates slapped the Parkside care home bosses with a £104,000 after mouse droppings were found throughout the home.

An appeal against the judgement was later lodged at Bolton Crown Court, and a judge recently more than halved the penalty to £50,000.

In the most recent inspection, carried out in July 2018, CQC inspectors reported that there had been improvements, but that some serious concerns were yet to be addressed.

The report states: “At this inspection, we identified failures in respect of the delivery of safe care and treatment.

“This was because risks associated with bedrails and entrapment were not assessed and identified.

“We also found airflow mattresses were not on the correct setting based on people’s weight, which increased the risk of people developing pressure areas.

“People’s hydration needs were not consistently met and people’s recommended daily fluid intake was not being achieved.

“It was unable to be determined how this had been addressed through the records maintained.”

Inspectors did note that the manager had resigned a month before the November visit, leaving the care home with no registered manager to take responsibility for meeting health and social care requirements.

Following this, the providers enlisted the services of a consultancy firm, which had been undertaking regular visits to the care home.

A week prior to the unannounced visit in July, the consultancy firm had enlisted the support of a home manager that worked alongside them.

The changes have been received positively by staff.

Inspectors wrote: “Nursing staff told us they were empowered by the consultancy firm to implement changes and were involved in decision making and changes to support improvements being sustained.

“Care staff informed us of changes in the culture at the home and feeling they could approach management if they had concerns and would be listened to and supported.

“One person told us they thought the new manager had ‘made a point of getting to know as many people as possible since they had arrived’ and another person said; ‘you feel you could talk to them if you had an issue’.”

Despite the concerns, residents reported that they were happy with the services, and praised the caring nature of staff.

“The staff are brilliant, a real asset to the home,” said one.

Another added: “They are very kind and always welcoming.”

Family members also praised Acorns employees.

One resident’s relative said: “The staff are very kind to me as well. I’ve told my family, if it’s ever necessary that I do not want to go anywhere else, I want to come here to live.”

The CQC will continue to communicate with the home to ensure that the concerns are addressed and breaches will be assessed at the next inspection.

Recently another relative of a resident – David Culshaw – gave an interview to our sister paper the Wigan Observer praising the service there and saying he had seen no evidence of malpractice.