Published: 00:01, 27 December 2017
A Gravesend care home has won the inauspicious honour of being nominated for a Worst Care Home of the Year Award.
Ashley Down in Clarence Place was one of 14 homes named among the worst care providers in England by OlderLivingMatters4.net.
The awards organisers said each home listed was rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission, and careful consideration had been given of the poor track records of the nominated homes.
Owner Richard Mahomed said: “We’ve been trying our very best to rectify things and obviously we’ve been waiting for the next inspection. What has happened has happened. Some things you can argue and some things you can’t.”
He said it was frustrating to be named in the worst care home awards.
He added: “Obviously we are changing things. We’re taking each category as it comes. We’re just doing our best to achieve what is expected of us.”
Sarah Whitebloom set up OlderLivingMatters.net after seeing the problems encountered by her parents Harry and Kitty Whitebloom in their old age.
She said Ashley Down initially came to notice because it has inadequate ratings in four out of five areas judged by CQC inspectors.
Although it was not rated as inadequate for caring, she noted care at the home still ‘requires improvement’, according to the CQC, and that it had been graded as ‘inadequate’ for more than a year.
She said: “The point of OLM’s search for the Worst Care Home of 2017 is to highlight the very poor care that exists in many residential homes throughout the country – and this includes homes run both by large organisations and small operators.
“More than 400 homes are sitting on an ‘inadequate’ notice. This means they are providing inadequate care for the residents who are frail, unwell and very elderly people.
"What is even more shocking is that many homes have had a succession of poor, sometimes ‘inadequate’, reports.
"Several have never had a good report. And yet they are ‘caring for’ our most vulnerable citizens.”
In August, at the time of the last inspection report on Ashley Down, the CQC said: “The overall rating for this service is ‘inadequate’ and the service therefore remains in special measures.
At the last comprehensive inspection this provider was placed into special measures by CQC.
This inspection found that there was not enough improvement to take the provider out of special measures. CQC is now considering the appropriate regulatory response to resolve the problems we found.”