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The Willows Requires improvement

The provider of this service changed - see old profile

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating

Requires improvement

Updated 24 August 2019

About the service

The Willows is a care home in the village of Rippingale. It is registered to provide support to 30 older people, some of whom may be living with dementia. At the time of our inspection, 25 people lived at the service.

People’s experience of using this service and what we found

People’s medicines were not always managed safely. Staff were trained in the safe administration of medicines, though we found problems with recording processes and a lack of guidance for staff. Risks to people’s safety and wellbeing had not always been identified or recorded, though staff understood how to manage the risks.

People were not supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff did not support them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests; the policies and systems in the service did not support this practice. We have made a recommendation about consent and recording decisions.

People’s health needs were met, and staff were knowledgeable about the support people needed. However, care plans did not always reflect people’s needs or provide staff with important information, including how they wanted to be cared for at the end of their life. Daily records did not show the care and treatment people had received.

Quality assurance systems were not always in place. When they were in place, they had been unable to maintain a high-quality service as they had not identified problems with medicines, risk management and care records. The registered manager had started to make improvements and implement new quality assurance systems.

Staff were kind and caring though they sometimes missed opportunities to engage people in meaningful conversations. People were encouraged to participate in activities and maintain their relationships with family and friends.

The registered manager was working to improve the service and included people and staff with this. The registered manager promoted a positive culture and staff were confident in their ability to develop the service.

For more details, please see the full report which is on the CQC website at

Rating at last inspection

The last rating for this service was Good (published 19 December 2016).

Why we inspected

This was a planned inspection based on the previous rating.


We have identified breaches in relation to the management of medicines and risks, the assessing, monitoring and addressing of quality shortfalls and maintaining complete and accurate records. Please see the action we have told the provider to take at the end of this report.

Follow up

We will continue to monitor information we receive about the service until we return to visit as per our re-inspection programme. If we receive any concerning information we may inspect sooner.

Inspection areas


Requires improvement

Updated 24 August 2019

The service was not always safe.

Details are in our safe findings below.


Requires improvement

Updated 24 August 2019

The service was not always effective.

Details are in our effective findings below.


Requires improvement

Updated 24 August 2019

The service was not always caring.

Details are in our caring findings below.


Requires improvement

Updated 24 August 2019

The service was not always responsive.

Details are in our responsive findings below.


Requires improvement

Updated 24 August 2019

The service was not always well-led.

Details are in our well-led findings below.