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CQC warns The Barn House that it is failing to protect the safety and welfare of people

24 October 2012
The Barn House
Mr & Mrs P Gungaloo
  • Media,
  • Care homes with nursing,
  • Care homes without nursing

24 October 2012

Urgent improvements required at nursing home in Merstham, Surrey.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has issued a formal warning to the providers Mr and Mrs P Gungaloo that they must make urgent improvements at a nursing home in Merstham, Surrey.

A warning notice has been issued following an unannounced inspection of The Barn House, in Quality Street, in August.

Inspectors found that:

  • People in the home were not always being supported to maintain their personal appearance. Some people wore dirty, stained or frayed clothes, and some had unwashed hair and long, dirty fingernails. A toilet door visible from a communal corridor had been left open while the toilet was in use.
  • Some people told inspectors that their choices (such as when to take a bath or have a hot drink) were being restricted by the routines at the home.
  • A number of people spoken to said they had not been involved in choices about their care. Care plans did not evidence that people had been asked what they wanted, and where a specific request had been made by a resident, this had not been recorded.
  • Inspectors observed a number of incidents in which inappropriate moving and handling techniques were used. These presented a risk of distress, discomfort or injury to people in the home.

Ian Biggs, Deputy Director of CQC in the South, said:

“We check the standards of quality and safety in care that the law says everyone should be able to expect. These standards exist to protect people who cannot always speak up for themselves from being put at risk of harm. Providers have a duty to be compliant.

“People living in care homes are entitled to have their privacy and dignity respected by those taking care of them, and it is disappointing to see that basic courtesy did not come as standard practice in this home.

“Our inspectors will return in the near future to carry out another unannounced inspection. If we find that the home is not making the required progress we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers further to protect the people who live there.”

This inspection took place as part of a national programme looking at dignity and nutrition for older people living in care homes. A full report on the national inspection programme will be published in due course.


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

Notes to editors

The warning notice finds that Mr and Mrs P Gungaloo are in breach of:

  • Regulation 17 (1)(a)(b)(2)(a)(c)(ii)(d) of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010 (Outcome 1) Respecting and involving people.

If the required improvements are not made by the required deadline, CQC has a range of enforcement powers which include restricting the services that a provider can offer, or, in the most serious cases, suspending or cancelling a service. CQC can also issue financial penalty notices and cautions or prosecute the provider for failing to meet essential standards. Any regulatory decision that CQC takes is open to challenge by a registered person through a variety of internal and external appeal processes.