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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) requires immediate action to improve the standards of care provided by Irvine Care Limited

29 October 2014
  • Media

In a report published today, CQC inspectors highlight repeated concerns following an inspection of Highground Care Home based in Wirral. The inspection was carried out in August 2014 as part of CQC’s scheduled inspection programme for 2014/2015.

Visiting inspectors found that the nursing home was failing to provide care which was safe, effective, caring, responsive or well led; and all nine of the national standards reviewed by the inspection team were not being met.

A full report detailing the findings from the inspection has been published on the CQC website this week.

Inspectors found that improvements identified on their previous visit in April 2014 had not been sustained and raised a number of concerns, including:

  • Care and treatment was not planned in the best interests of the residents’ health and wellbeing.
  • Residents were not protected from the risks of unsafe care as inspectors found that safeguarding policies were not being followed or updated accordingly.
  • Several areas of the home were dirty and in a poor state of repair.
  • Records showed that the temperature of the medicines room and fridge was not being monitored regularly and inspectors could not be sure that medicines requiring cold storage had been kept within the correct temperature range. Medicines can become ineffective if they are kept at the wrong temperature.
  • People living at the home told inspectors there was a lack of staff and that they often had to wait for care or assistance A review of the homes staffing rota confirmed that there had been insufficient staffing levels on a number of occasions.
  • Staff were not being supported to deliver care and treatment safely. Not all staff had received an appraisal and a review of the home’s training records revealed that several staff had received little training in areas such as safeguarding and promoting dignity.
  • The home did not have an effective quality assurance system in place and identified shortfalls were not addressed.
  • The records kept by the service were of a poor standard, contained incomplete information, lack of clarity on audits and care plans not updated frequently in line with the person’s needs.

As a result of these findings CQC is currently considering the need for further regulatory action against Irvine Care Limited and will report in due course on any action they do decide to take.

Debbie Westhead, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care in the North said:

"Highground Care Home has an inconsistent history where standards of care are concerned; the ongoing variation in quality of care cannot be allowed to continue.

"We have shared our findings with the Local Authority Safeguarding Team, and we have told Irvine Care Limited very clearly where they must take action to address our concerns.

"The residents receiving care from Highground Care Home are entitled to receive services which are safe, effective, compassionate, well led, and responsive to their needs.

"We are monitoring Highground Care Home very closely in liaison with the local authority to ensure that people receiving care are not at risk of immediate harm, and we will report further on any further action we intend to take in due course."

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


For further information please contact CQC Regional Communications Officer Mark Humphreys on 0191 233 3519. Alternatively, the CQC press office can be contacted on 0207 448 9401 or out of hours on 07917 232 143.

Last updated:
30 May 2017

Notes to editors

The full report on Highground Care Home can be found on the CQC website here.


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.