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CQC inspectors find improvements at Francis Court, Copthorne, following enforcement action by regulator

8 January 2014
  • Media,
  • Care homes without nursing

8 January 2014

The Care Quality Commission has said it will continue to monitor standards of care extremely closely at Francis Court in Copthorne, West Sussex, after two unannounced inspections identified failings at the home.

Concerns were raised with CQC in October which triggered three visits to the home, run by Care UK, over a one week period. Francis Court is registered to provide nursing and residential care for up to 87 people with a variety of different needs.

In October, inspectors found that the provider was failing to meet the four national standards of quality and safety checked; care and welfare of people, safeguarding people from abuse, management of medicines, and records:

  • People were at risk of receiving inappropriate and unsafe care and treatment because staff lacked the information to support them properly.
  • The management of medicines was chaotic with insufficient nursing staff on duty to administer medicines in a timely way.
  • People were not always adequately safeguarded from harm.
  • Records were not accurately maintained.

CQC took urgent enforcement action against Care UK to ensure that no further people were admitted to the home until improvements were made and sustained. Since October, CQC has been working with West Sussex County Council and other agencies to ensure the safety of residents.

A subsequent inspection, carried out in December to check whether the most serious concerns had been addressed found that there had been some signs of improvement although the home was still failing to deliver acceptable levels of care.

Full reports from both inspections have been published on the CQC website today.

Adrian Hughes, Regional Director for CQC in the South, said,

“It was clear when we visited Francis Court in October that we needed to take immediate action, which included a restriction on new admissions until further notice. 

We also passed our findings and concerns to the local authority and local commissioners for them to take any necessary action.

“When we returned to Francis Court in December, we found that the provider was addressing the concerns we had raised. There were sufficient staff on duty to meet the needs of people living in the home and the management of medicines was improved. The onus now is on Care UK to ensure that this improvement continues and is sustained.

“All of this said, we still have concerns that people at Francis Court are not receiving the best possible care – and the home is still falling short of the required standard.

“We will continue to monitor progress at Francis Court very closely indeed, and will return unannounced in the near future to check that improvements continue to be made. If we identify any further problems, we will not hesitate to take swift action again to protect the people who live there.”


For further information please contact the CQC press office on 0207 448 9239 or out of hours on 07917 232143.

Notes to editors

Read the full report from our inspection at Francis Court.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.