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CQC places Cambridgeshire care home into Special Measures

19 November 2015
  • Media

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has placed Orchard House in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire into special measures following inspections in October.

During the unannounced inspections, CQC found the provider was failing to provide care which was safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive to people’s needs.

Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all adult social care services are being given a rating to help people choose care. Overall, Orchard House has been rated as Inadequate.

A full report from the inspection has been published on the CQC website:

CQC found that risks to people’s safety had not always identified, assessed and managed appropriately. Staff did not reassess or learn from any events that occurred in the service to improve their practice and keep people safe.

People were not treated in a way that provided a positive experience for them. Staff did not promote individual care that focused on the needs of each person; instead they concentrated on just the task in hand. Activities for people to take part in were limited and people were provided with food that looked unappetising and pre-plated.

Staff were not responsive to people’s needs or preferences. Two relatives commented that staff had no idea of their family member’s likes and dislikes. Care plan documentation about people’s care and wellbeing was incomplete and there was a lack of guidance for staff to follow about meeting people’s needs.

Relatives told inspectors they were unhappy with the way the home was managed and commented that the registered manager was never in the home and they were not sure who they would speak to if the registered manager was not around.

In addition, communication between staff and people living in the home was limited. Staff were aware of the providers whistleblowing policy but said they would not raise any issues as they did not feel any concerns they raised would be listened to or dealt with openly by the managers.

Rob Assall-Marsden, CQC’s Head of Inspection for Adult Social Care in the central region said:

“It is essential that Orchard House takes action to address the concerns we identified at this inspection. The provider has a responsibility to ensure that people living at the home are safe and protected from the risk of harm. All people living at Orchard House have a right to receive care which is of a high quality, compassionate and safe.

"When we are faced with a residential or nursing home failing their residents, our first instinct is to make sure the service improves.

"Since these concerns were first raised, we have been working closely with Cambridgeshire County Council and other agencies. We have placed this service in special measures and are taking further action in relation to this provider.

“We will re-inspect the home within six months to check whether sufficient improvements have been made. If sufficient improvements have not been made and there remains a rating of inadequate for any key question or overall, we will take further action which may include cancelling the registration of the service.”


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Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors


Orchard House is a care home which provides nursing and personal care for up to 67 older people, people living with dementia and people with mental health difficulties. People are accommodated on two units. Rivendell Unit is situated on the ground floor and accommodates people with nursing needs and Lothorian Unit located on the first floor accommodates people living with dementia or mental health difficulties. There were 62 people living in the home at the time of this inspection.


Since 1 April, providers have been required to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. For further information on the requirement for providers to prominently display their CQC ratings, please visit:


Special Measures: All adult social care services inspected since 1 April 2015 that receive an overall rating of Inadequate will be placed into special measures by CQC. The regime is designed to make sure there is a timely and coordinated response to Inadequate care and we will use it alongside our enforcement policy.


When a service is in special measures it is the provider’s responsibility to improve, seeking appropriate support from its own resources and from other relevant organisations. When we can, we will signpost providers to improvement support agencies.


Those services will be inspected again within six months. If a service demonstrates improvements and is no longer rated as inadequate for any of the five key questions we will take it out of special measures. If sufficient improvements have not been made and there remains a rating of inadequate for any key question or overall, we will take further action which may include cancelling the registration of that service.


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.