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Inadequate CQC rating for Phoenix Residential Care Home in Chatham

A care home has been rated inadequate and remains in special measures following a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Phoenix Residential Care Home in Maidstone Road, Chatham, was kept in special measures following two CQC inspections earlier this year, and a follow up inspection earlier this month found there were still failings in its management.

The Phoenix Residential Care Home in Chatham. Picture: Google
The Phoenix Residential Care Home in Chatham. Picture: Google

Inspectors found management of the home - which provides care and accommodation for up to 18 adults living with dementia and other health conditions - was not robust enough to identify potential issues and to put actions and processes in place to improve quality and safety.

Specifically, prescribed medicines were not always managed in a safe way and care plans and risk assessments were not always reviewed and amended following an accident or incident. Fire safety also remained a concern with insufficient staff on duty at night to ensure the building could be safely evacuated in the event of a fire.

A summary of the latest report noted residents were "not given maximum choice and control of their lives" and that the service was "not kept clean and free from odours".

It added that residents were not given the support needed to create a homely and personal bedroom environment, and were not provided with opportunities to follow their interests or offered meaningful occupation.

CQC’s head of inspection for adult social care, Neil Cox, said: “Although some improvements had been made since the previous inspection in August, there are still a number of serious shortfalls in the service provided.

“Following this latest inspection, the service remains in special measures, which means it will be kept under review and, if the provider’s registration is not cancelled, it will be re-inspected to check that significant improvements have been made.

“If the provider is unable to demonstrate improvements have been made, we will not hesitate to use our enforcement powers.”

Care home manager Rita Grantham said she had challenged the CQC ruling and described the establishment as a "happy home."

She said problems with odours and fire safety had all been addressed, adding: "We've made a lot of improvements and continue to do so.

"We were due to go to a tribunal in September but that was postponed to December 8. I've got an email from the CQC solicitors to say as we've made improvements they wanted to adjourn until April."

A further statement from the CQC confirmed Phoenix Care Home had appealed their decision to cancel the registration of the provider and the registered manager, and a tribunal hearing had been due to be heard in December.

It added: "CQC inspected the service in November 2020 and noted improvements at the service. We mutually agreed to request a short stay in proceedings during what we know has been an incredibly challenging period for care homes, to enable the provider time to embed the improvements and for CQC to determine if the improvements have been sustained, which will be assessed at a future inspection."

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