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Care Quality Commission takes action to protect people at Benamy Care in Seaham

28 October 2016
Benamy Care
  • Public

Benamy Care, a care home in Seaham remains in special measures after failing to improve and obstructing the inspection team during an unannounced inspection in September this year.

Benamy Care is a small residential care home in Seaham providing accommodation and personal care for up to five adults with learning disabilities. There were five people using the service when CQC attempted to inspect the service.

The service was last inspected on 12 February 2016 at which time inspectors found the registered provider had failed to implement the majority of an action plan which was intended to address a range of breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008, identified in a previous inspection of 19 and 20 August 2015.

CQC took enforcement action following the inspection of 19 and 20 August 2015 and the service was put into 'Special Measures'. This meant the service was kept under review and a return inspection planned within six months, with the expectation that significant improvements should have been made within this timeframe.

At the inspection of 12 February 2016 we found the registered provider had failed to make any significant improvements, remained in breach of these regulations and remained in special measures.

During this inspection of 13 September 2016 the inspection team were unable to undertake a full inspection of the service due to obstruction by the registered providers and the registered manager. They confirmed to inspectors that they had made no changes or improvements since the last inspection and did not intend to do so.

The obstruction of an inspection is a criminal offence under Section 63 (7) of the Health and Social Care Act 2008. CQC has considered the appropriate regulatory response to this obstructed inspection and has shared information regarding the conduct of the registered providers with local authority commissioning professionals.

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

“People are entitled to services which provide safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care. We found that the care provided at Benamy Care fell short of what we expect services to provide.

“It is a criminal offence to obstruct a CQC inspection, and we were unable to carry out a full inspection at this location because the provider and registered manager did not enable us to do so. CQC have issued a warning letter to the provider in light of this obstruction.

“We are working with local partners including Durham County Council to ensure the safety of people using this service”

The full report from the inspection has been published on the CQC website.

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

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all adult social care services are given a rating to help people choose care. We ask five questions, are services; safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.

Since 1 April, providers have been 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. Further information on the display of CQC ratings.

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.

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.

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.