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CQC warns Cranford Care Homes Limited that they are failing to protect the safety and welfare of people

6 July 2012
  • Media,
  • Care homes without nursing

6 July 2012

Regulator demands immediate improvement at Merseyside care home.

The Care Quality Commission has issued two official warnings to Cranford Care Homes Limited, registered provider of Cranford Residential Care Home, Warrington Road, Rainhill, Liverpool, Merseyside, stating that they must make urgent improvements or face further action.

In respect of the first warning the registered person is required to take proper steps to ensure that each service user is protected against the risks of receiving care or treatment that is inappropriate or unsafe. The CQC inspection, conducted on the 10 May, followed an earlier Review of Compliance. This visit was to measure compliance with the provider’s action plan with a timescale of 20 April 2012.

The 10 May visit comprised a Short Observational Framework for Inspection (SOFI). SOFI is a specific way of observing care to help the Commission understand the experience of people living in the home. CQC also undertook general observations of the interactions of staff with the people living in the service.

Inspectors observed one person remained seated in the same chair in the lounge area from 6.45 am until 11.15 am. The same person was observed during the early afternoon to still be seated in the same chair in the lounge. An inspector examined the care records for this person. The professional visits record stated that a recommendation was made by the GP that the person should be mobilised to prevent further deterioration to their knee. 

During the time of the observation, the person remained seated in the lounge; neither of the CQC inspectors saw staff promoting mobility. The person remained in the same chair for breakfast and lunch.

CQC inspectors spoke with ten people using the service during the inspection on the 10 May 2012. Three people stated that they thought that there should be more things to do during the day. During the visit no activities were undertaken other than the general routine of the service.  A notice board titled activities was observed by inspectors on the day of the visit.

In respect of the second warning notice, inspectors were not satisfied that the registered person was protecting service users, and others who may be at risk, against the risks of inappropriate or unsafe care and treatment, by means of the effective operation of systems designed to enable the registered person to:

  • regularly assess and monitor the quality of the services provided in the carrying on of the regulated activity against the requirements set out in the Regulations.
  • identify, assess and manage risks relating to the health, welfare and safety of service users and others who may be at risk from the carrying on of the regulated activity.

A previous review carried out in February 2012 found non -compliance with major concerns for this regulation. The provider submitted an action plan that stated that by the 20 April 2012 ‘Audit tools have been put in place, so that all risk assessments and personal care plans are monitored on a weekly basis depending on risks to the resident’.

On 10 May 2012, CQC inspectors discussed with the registered manager, her understanding of the audit processes and systems to be introduced by 20 April 2012 and of the Independent Audit of the home to be undertaken, in accordance with the action plan submitted to the Commission. The registered manager initially informed the Inspectors that they did not know of any independent audit but later produced 2 audit report documents produced by an independent auditor.

The inspectors examined the independent audits for January 2012 and March 2012. The March 2012 audit report detailed that there were outstanding issues from the January audit report as yet unresolved. This included a lack of a medicines audit tool, ascertaining people’s wishes, lack of falls risk assessments and an infection control audit tool which was also needed.

Although an independent audit had been undertaken and recommendations for improvement had been recorded the areas for improvement had not been achieved. As a result the system for improvement had not been effective in improving the service.

The registered manager informed the inspectors that surveys of people’s opinion of the service were provided to people living in the home or sent to their representatives. They were unable to produce these surveys or results from any surveys when requested, stating that they had been "filed". When inspectors asked what actions had been taken in light of the information contained in the surveys, the registered manager explained that the surveys had highlighted some issues with a lack of activities in the home, but confirmed that no plans were in place to address this feedback..

Inspectors also found deficiencies in staff recruitment – the company had not taken up references on a recently employed member of staff and CQC was not satisfied that that the system for testing electrical equipment had been properly recorded or undertaken by a sufficiently qualified individual.

Anne Ford, CQC Head of Regional Compliance for the North West region, said:

“These standards are not acceptable. The law says that these are the standards that everyone should be able to expect. Providers have a duty to ensure they are compliant.

“This warning sends a clear and public message that Cranford Care Homes Limited needs to address this issue as a matter of urgency or face serious consequences.

“Our inspectors will return to Cranford Residential Care Home in the near future and if we find that the provider is not making the required progress we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers to protect the people who use this service."


For further information please contact the CQC Regional Communications Team, David Fryer 07901 514 220 or Kirstin Hannaford 0191 233 3629.

The CQC press office can be contacted on 0207 448 9401 or out of hours on 07917 232 143.

Notes to editors

CQC will publish further details of the inspectors’ findings in a review of compliance on its website at a later date.

CQC has issued a warning notice to Cranford Care Homes Limited requiring action to meet:

  • Regulation 9 Health and Social Care Act (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010 (outcome 4) Care and welfare of people who use services
  • Regulation 10 Health and Social Care Act (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010, (outcome16) Assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision

The company has been given a 30-day deadlinefor improvements to be made. If this deadline is not met, 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.