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Chatham care home Agape House closed after neglect death

A nursing home has been forced to close after serious concerns were raised about care following the death of one resident who suffered neglect.

Inspectors found Agape House in Chatham, which looks after elderly people including patients with dementia, was failing to meet standards.

A safeguarding investigation by Medway Council found a person who died in October 2013, had suffered neglect at the privately-run home.

Agape House, Maidstone Road, Chatham
Agape House, Maidstone Road, Chatham

They had been admitted to hospital with multiple pressure sores.

Further inspections by the heath regulator Care Quality Commission (CQC) found the home in Maidstone Road was not following practices for the safe administration of medicines, there were poor infection control systems and a lack of proper assessments regarding nutrition and care.

The CQC decided to cancel the registration of the home, which charged residents from £330 a week for care. Agape House appealed but a tribunal dismissed the appeal, which means it must close. The seven residents, who have lived there between two and nine years, are thought to have been re-homed.

Adrian Hughes, deputy chief inspector at CQC, said: “CQC applied to cancel the registration of this home, because of serious concerns in relation to the safety, welfare and care of its residents.

"We had no choice but to take urgent action to protect people living at the home" - CQC inspector Adrian Hughes

“Taking action leading to the closure of any service is not something that we take. In this case we had no choice but to take urgent action to protect people living at the home.”

The CQC said it has been working closely with Medway Council while taking action to ensure the welfare of residents.

Mr Hughes added: “The action we have taken together with the tribunal decision should send a strong public message that we will not hesitate to use our powers to take tough action if we have concerns about the care and welfare of people who use services.”

Tribunal judge Melanie Plimmer said: “There have been multiple breaches of requirements with major impact, non-compliance has continued for a significant length of time and there has been variable compliance over time.

“We conclude that the sanction of cancellation was and is appropriate and proportionate in all the circumstances.”

No-one from Agape House was available for comment.

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