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Regulator demands immediate improvement at Northumberland care home

9 November 2012
Howard Castle
Sanctuary Care (England) Limited
  • Media,
  • Rehabilitation (from illness or injury)

9 November 2012

CQC warns European Care (England) Limitedthat 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 European Care (England) Limited, Registered Provider of Howard Castle 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 the home, on Dacre Street in Morpeth, Northumberland on 12 September 2012 tofollow up requirements made during a previous inspection.   

Howard Castle provides accommodation and nursing care for up to 40 people, some of whom have dementia.

At their most recent visit, inspectors found that people living at the home were not protected against the risks associated with unsafe or unsuitable premises. Maintenance was not up to date, and parts of the home were in need of urgent improvements.

Portable electrical appliances, extractor units and lifting equipment had not always been checked or serviced when they should have been, and records showed that excessively hot water temperatures had been reported to the manager on several occasions.

The home was also failing to operate effective systems to assess and monitor the quality of care provided there.Although systems were in place to identify risks and set actions to manage these risks, inspectors found no evidence that these actions had been implemented.

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 European Care (England) Limited needto address these issues as a matter of urgency or face serious consequences.

“We will return to Howard castle 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 a warning notice to European Care (England) Limitedrequiring action to meet:  

  • Regulation 15, Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010 Safety and suitability of premises
  • Regulation 10, Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010 Assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision

A deadline 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.