‘We will be fully compliant when CQC return’ – Hitchin care home’s vow after requires improvement re-inspection rating

Foxholes Care Home in Hitchin has been rated by the CQC as requires improvement at its latest inspec

Foxholes Care Home in Hitchin has been rated by the CQC as requires improvement at its latest inspection, but a spokesman has vowed the Pirton Road home will be fully compliant when they next return. - Credit: Archant

The latest care home in our area to come under the CQC microscope is confident it will be ‘fully compliant’ when inspectors next return.

Following a visit in October, the health watchdog deemed that Foxholes Care Home in Hitchin ‘requires improvement’ – with a second inspection at the home in December stating this remains the case.

In the summary report published at the end of last month following the December visit, inspectors said: “We found that they were still not meeting the standards because there was not enough staff to meet people’s needs safely at all times, and people’s medicines were not managed safely.

“Records were not contemporaneous and not completed in a timely fashion to reflect what care people needed.

“The manager failed to action any of the concerns we reported in the previous inspection, they had not conducted any audits, they did not monitor the safety or the quality of the service provided.”

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But a spokesman for the care home in Pirton Road is confident that by the CQC’s next unannounced visit, expected in April, the report will tell a different story.

He said: “The report of the October 2015 inspection was published on December 3. The follow-up inspection took place the very next day, with no improvements found.

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“Unfortunately, we discovered that the home manager had done very little between inspections to improve the service.

“We took immediate action to relieve him of his duties indefinitely, and we – the providers – stepped in to manage the home directly, with the support of the CQC inspector.

“As a matter of priority, we arranged a series of meetings with the residents and relatives to discuss the report and any concerns.

“Since then, we have received strong encouragement and support for our involvement in the day to day running of the home.

“We will continue to manage the service directly for the foreseeable future, and we have designed an action plan that will resolve all the issues identified in previous reports.

“This will bring the home back into full compliance by the end of March.”

The Comet has received a number of emails from relatives of those living at the home in support of Foxholes.

Helen Lumley, whose mother is a resident and who was spoken to by the CQC during the October visit, said: “On reading their report, I was disappointed that none of my very positive comments about Foxholes were included in the CQC report.

“My sister and I have worked in the healthcare sector and we have consistently observed a very high level of care at Foxholes.

“The staff are kind and responsive to requests we have made, my mother is looked after with compassion, and we are very satisfied that she is safe and content in a lovely environment.”

The relative of another resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “Nothing to date before, during or after the CQC inspection has made us question the decision to move my wife’s mother to Foxholes.

“We were always confident, through our individual conversations with the owners, that their attention to safety, comfort, stimulation and socialising was the right environment to aim for and that they had credible plans to enable it to be achieved.”

You can read the full report at www.cqc.org.uk – with an in-depth look at the wider picture in Stevenage and North Herts in today’s Comet.

None of the 28 homes in our area that have been inspected since changes were made to the process in November 2014 have been given the top CQC rating of outstanding, 18 were considered good, 10 require improvement and none were deemed inadequate.

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