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CQC rates Ellesmere Port care home Inadequate and places it into special measures

6 October 2016
Atherton Lodge
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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has put Atherton Lodge, based in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire into special measures to protect people using the service, after rating them as Inadequate following an inspection in August this year.

Atherton Lodge is a privately owned two-storey detached property that has been converted and extended into a care home. It is registered to provide accommodation for up to 40 older people who require personal and nursing care. At the time of the inspection there were 40 people living at the service.

We ask five questions, are services; safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. Overall, Atherton Lodge has been rated Inadequate for all of these individual questions and has therefore been rated as Inadequate overall.

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

“People are entitled to services which provide safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care. We found the care provided by Atherton Lodge fell a very long way short of what we expect services to provide, which is why we have intervened to keep people using this service safe.

“We were very concerned that vulnerable people using this service were not being kept from actual or potential harm. We found that their basic physical, medical, emotional and mental needs were not being met.

“Atherton Lodge also advertised themselves as able to care for people living with dementia. However we found that the accommodation, adaptations, stimulation and specialised support was not in place to support people with these health conditions.

“People were left unattended, skilled staff were not always on duty, medicines weren’t always given to the right people at the right time, and people did not have a choice of nutritious meals and drinks. This simply isn’t good enough.

“We are now considering the appropriate enforcement action to the breaches in regulation we found at Atherton Lodge.”

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

Inspectors found that staff did not always recognise safeguarding incidents and therefore action was not always taken to ensure that people were kept safe or to prevent such an incident from happening again. The recording system was poor and incidents were rarely followed up to ensure people’s safety or improve their care.

CQC saw insufficient levels of staff available to meet people’s needs with many of the lounge areas often left unattended.

Atherton Lodge failed to demonstrate to inspectors how they knew that the right number of skilled and experienced staff were available at all times to meet the needs of the people who used the service.

It was also very worrying how unsafe the management of medicines remained at Atherton Lodge, despite CQC telling them to improve in this area at a previous inspection. People did not get the medicines that they required as medicines were not always available. Inspectors also found it concerning that the medicines room was left unattended and that medication which was signed for as given, was found on the floor or tables.

At the time of the inspection, CQC saw that the service provided support to some adults who were under 65 and others with a functional mental illness which is not in accordance with their Statement of Purpose. Staff at Atherton Lodge did not have the skills and knowledge to support these individuals.

The Statement of Purpose also stated that the service can provide support to people living with dementia who require personal or nursing needs and also people with sensory impairment. We found that the accommodation, adaptations, stimulation and specialised support was not in place to support people with these health conditions which meant that staff could not meet people's needs.


For further information, please contact Kerri James, CQC Regional Engagement Communications Officer 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

Providers are required to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. See further information on the requirement for providers to prominently display their CQC ratings.

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.