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CQC warns Hertfordshire care home it needs to do more to protect the safety and welfare of people

6 July 2012
Forest Care Village Elstree and Borehamwood
Aspen Village Limited
  • Media

6 July 2012

The Care Quality Commission has issued a formal warning to the owner of Forest Care Village Elstree and Borehamwood, saying they must make improvements to standards of care or face further action.

The warning follows unannounced visits by inspectors to the care home in Cardinal Avenue, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, on 17, 18, 21 and 25 May to check on whether the provider had taken action in relation to concerns highlighted at an earlier inspection.

During the inspections CQC found the owners of the home needed to make improvements.

Warning notices have been issued in relation to safeguarding service users from abuse, the care and welfare of people who use services, and assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.

Staff were, at times, seen to ignore or fail to respond in timely manner to people’s call bells, which left residents in uncomfortable and compromised positions for unacceptable periods.

One person told inspectors that, while visiting, they found their relative lying naked in a wet bed and another who visited after lunch found their relative had been left in bed without anything to eat or drink.

Inspectors found people had not been given medicines when they should have been.

Care plans were found not to have been kept consistently up to date and fluid and weight charts were not accurately or consistently completed.

During the visits CQC saw people who were unkempt and unshaven, clothes that had become messy at mealtimes remained unchanged for the rest of the day.

Staff were unclear on how to escalate concerns about possible abuse within the organisation or to external organisations if they felt matters had not been addressed.

When allegations about possible abuse were made the service did not report this in a timely manner to the local authority or CQC.

Where there had been allegations of abuse made about staff, there was no audit trail to show any decision making in relation to these and no risk assessments regarding any additional training needed for when the individuals concerned returned to work.

The majority of people CQC spoke to said they were not involved in the development or review of their care plans and therefore not given the opportunity to ensure these reflected their personal needs or preferences.

Inspectors found there were no effective systems in place to assess and monitor the service, to ensure that people could be protected from the risks of inappropriate or unsafe care.

Andrea Gordon, Deputy Director of Operations (regions), said: "The law says these are the standards that everyone should be able to expect. Providers have a duty to ensure they are compliant

“These warning notices send a clear message that the owner of Forest Care Village Elstree and Borehamwood needs to address these issues or face further consequences.

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

We are taking further action to protect the welfare of people using this service. While the law does not allow us to go into detail at this stage, we will publish a full report in due course.

Any regulatory decision CQC takes is open to challenge by a registered person through a variety of internal and external appeal processes.

Forest Care Village Elstree and Borehamwood provides care and accommodation for people with nursing care needs, who may have physical disabilities or dementia.

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Notes to editors

Further details of the inspectors’ full findings can be found in a review of compliance on CQC’s website via the link below:

CQC has issued the warning notices to Aspen Village Limited of Highgate Road , London , the owner of, Forest Care Village Elstree and Borehamwood, Cardinal Avenue , Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, requiring that action is taken to meet:

  • Regulation 9: care and welfare of people who use services
  • Regulation 10: assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision
  • Regulation 11: safeguarding service users from abuse.

Inspectors will carry out a further unannounced visit to assess whether the necessary improvements have been made.

A deadline of 20 July for improvements to be made has been set. If improvements are not made, 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.