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Councillors to discuss care home failings at meeting tonight

Inspectors found that staff at council run facility failed to report suspected abuse

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper


01635 886632

Suspected abuse at Newbury care home was not reported

WEST Berkshire councillors are due to meet this evening (Tues) to discuss a damning report which found bosses at a care home failed to notify health watchdogs about the suspected abuse of residents.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found residents “were not safeguarded from abuse” and “not kept safe” during a recent visit to Birchwood Care Home in Newbury.

The council, which took over the running of the home in June, said it was disappointed with the findings and that an action plan to improve the service was being implemented.

The inspectors’ report details instances of potential abuse at the home, including one resident being force-fed medication and another receiving an unexplained fracture to their arm – neither of which were reported to the CQC.

The home has been placed in special measures by the CQC after inspectors rated the service “inadequate”.

The health watchdog was prompted to carry out the two-day inspection at the 60-bed care home after being tipped off about potential abuse and a number of other safety concerns by family members, health professionals, staff and also the local authority.

During the visits, on September 29 and October 1, inspectors said they identified “several” breaches of the Health and Social Care Act.

At one point, inspectors had to intervene to stop a resident accessing an unattended and unlocked medicine trolley.

In another instance, one family member told the inspectors how they had had to clean their relative’s en-suite bathroom themselves after staff failed to notice another resident had used it and left it in a mess.

The council’s overview and scrutiny management commission will meet at 6.30pm tonight, at the civic offices in Market Street, Newbury.

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