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Regulator demands immediate improvement at Northumberland care home

19 December 2012
  • Media,
  • Care homes with nursing

19 December 2012

CQC warns Four Seasons (Bamford) Limited that they are failing to protect the safety and welfare of the people using the service.

The Care Quality Commission has issued a formal warning to Four Seasons (Bamford) Limited, registered provider of Sunningdale Lodge Care Home, stating that they must make urgent improvements to standards of care or face further action.  

The warning follows an unannounced visit by inspectors to Sunningdale Lodge, Dene Road, Hexham in Northumberland, on 22 October 2012 as part of CQC’s planned review of care services. 

Sunningdale Lodge Care Home provides nursing and personal care for up to 50 older people, some of whom have mental health needs.

On inspection, it was found that the home was failing to comply with national standards covering care and welfare and the nutritional needs of people using the service.

Inspectors were concerned that some people living at the home did not always receive care and support that fully met their needs, as documented in their care plans.

Residents were not being adequately supported to maintain their personal hygiene, and records indicated that only 10 immersion baths or showers had been provided for the 21 people accommodated on the first floor in the first three weeks of October 2012.

Inspectors observed one resident whose care plan identified they were at risk of developing pressure sores, was left sitting for long periods of time without receiving help to change position.

Appropriate moving and handling procedures were not being followed by staff and care was not being planned and delivered in a way that ensured residents’ safety and welfare.

The home was failing to provide residents with adequate support to enable them to eat and drink what they needed, or to take action where malnutrition was suspected. Staff were seen encouraging people to eat but care plans did not always include clear guidance for staff on how to give assistance with eating and drinking.

Malcolm Bower-Brown, CQC’s director in the North said:

"The law sets out national standards that everyone who uses services should be able to expect. Providers have a duty to ensure they meet these standards. 

“This warning sends a clear and public message that Four Seasons (Bamford) Limited need to address these issues as a matter of urgency or face serious consequences.

“Our inspectors will return to the 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 ensure residents are receiving the service they are entitled to expect.”


For further information please contact the CQC press office on 0207 448 9401 or out of hours on 07917 232 143.

Notes to editors

CQC has issued warning notices to Four Seasons (Bamford) Limited requiring action to meet:  

  • Regulation 9, Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010, Care and welfare of people who use services.
  • Regulation 14, Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010, Meeting nutritional needs.

A deadline of 14 December 2012 has been given for improvement. 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.

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.