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Care Quality Commission finds Woodchurch House care home in Ashford inadequate and threatens closure

By Vicky Castle

A care home has received the worst possible report from health inspectors who branded it unsafe, ineffective and inadequate in every area.

Woodchurch House in Ashford has been put in special measures and warned it could be closed down if things do not improve in six months.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) report said people's safety and dignity were at risk due to a host of inadequacies and the home had not had a registered manager for more than three months.

Woodchurch House care home in Woodchurch could face closure because of the report from the CQC.

Inspectors visited the care home, in Brook Street, Woodchurch, unannounced on three occasions in January after receiving complaints about the service.

The damning report said: “Risks to people’s safety and welfare had not always been appropriately addressed."

The report also said the service was understaffed, employees had gaps in their knowledge and some staff members had bad references or none at all.

"You can wait ages for a call bell to be answered and I’ve had several accidents, which is really embarrassing" - Resident

Inspectors interviewing residents at the home said they were told by one person that: “There are just not enough staff around. You can wait ages for a call bell to be answered and I’ve had several accidents, which is really embarrassing.”

Another person said: “Sometimes the staff say ‘we’re busy, you’ll just have to wait your turn’.”

One relative told inspectors: “I’m not impressed. There are just not enough staff, X often has to wait ages for someone to come and help when they buzz.”

The home was criticised for unsafe management of medicines, incident records and subsequent safeguarding concerns.

The report even details “improper and degrading” treatment of one patient during their personal care.

Woodchurch House provides nursing for up to 60 people with dementia, mental illness and physical frailty.

Inspectors were unable to talk directly to some residents who had communication troubles due to dementia or other illnesses, but the report highlighted a problematic language barrier.

Ernie Graham, co-owner of the Graham Care Group

It read: “There was a risk people’s needs might be misunderstood by staff who had a poor command of English.

“Some residents said the accents of some staff, for whom English was not their first language, were a barrier to communication and sometimes left them feeling frustrated.”

Ernie Graham, owner of Graham Care Homes, which owns Woodchurch House among a string of other care homes, said: “The CQC report relates to an inspection that was three months ago and we feel now we have done a lot of work since then and feel we have addressed the issues that were there on the day.”

To view the full report visit the CQC website.

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