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Care Quality Commission takes action to protect people at Atherton Lodge in Cheshire

29 March 2017
Atherton Lodge
  • Media,
  • Care homes without nursing

Atherton Lodge in Ellesmere Port has again been rated as Inadequate by the Care Quality Commission following an inspection in December 2016.

This service was previously inspected in August was and rated Inadequate after CQC inspectors found several breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008. Following that inspection, Atherton Lodge took the decision to stop providing nursing care.

The full report from the inspection can be found on our website.

Rob Tovey, CQC's Head of Inspections for Adult Social Care in the North West, said:

“People are entitled to services which provide safe, caring and high quality care. We found that the care provided at Atherton Lodge once again fell short of what we expect services to provide."

“Risk assessments were still inadequately managed and not tailored to people’s individual needs, putting them at unnecessary risk of harm."

“It was very concerning that some areas of the building weren’t safe and we found a lack of cleanliness across the whole service. Fixtures and fittings needed updating, and we found parts or the building that smelt badly, and areas which posed an infection risk to people using the service."

“It was also worrying that Atherton Lodge identified themselves as being able to care for people living with dementia, but we found that neither the environment nor the care being provided was best practice for someone with these additional needs."

“We are working with local partners including Cheshire West and Chester to ensure the safety of people using this service.”

Other findings from the inspection included:

  • There was a new chef in place at Atherton Lodge who was reviewing the menus and taking advice from dieticians, but people were still having a poor dining experience. Some people were waiting 50 minutes to be served their food during which time they became unsettled and uncomfortable.
  • The Statement of Purpose stated that the service can provide support to people living with dementia and also people with sensory impairment. Inspectors found that the accommodation, adaptations, stimulation and specialised support was not in place to support people with these conditions. This meant that staff could not meet people's needs in an effective way and the environment did not meet their needs.
  • Observations showed that some staff did not know how to support people who were distressed or may be seen to challenge others. CQC observed that some distressed behaviours were seen as 'normal interactions' and staff did not always manage or support people appropriately.

Inspectors found that risks to people using this service are major and are taking action in line with CQC enforcement policy. This is currently subject to legal proceedings and CQC are unable to report on these proceedings until they have concluded.

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 Engagement Officer Kerri James by email or by phone on 07464 92 9966. 

Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here.

Please note: the press office is unable to advise members of the public on health or social care matters. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

To get to the heart of people’s experiences of care, we always ask the following five questions of services.

  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  • Are they well-led?

Providers are required by law to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. This should be done within 21 days of publication of their inspection report.


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.