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CQC takes action to protect people at St Mary’s Care Home, Chester-le-Street

22 July 2016
St Mary's Care Home
  • Media

St Mary’s Care Home, Chester-le-Street, County Durham, continues to be in special measures to protect people using this service, after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) again rated it as Inadequate following an inspection in May and June this year.

St Mary's Care Home is located in the centre of Chester-le-Street and provides accommodation for people who require nursing or personal care. There were 30 people using the service on 25 May 2016 including people receiving respite care. On 2 June 27 people were using the service on 17 June 25 people were using the service.

This unannounced inspection was scheduled to check on progress made to deal with concerns identified at the time of a previous inspection, in September 2015.

During this latest inspection CQC found the provider had not taken the necessary action and therefore continued to be in breach of the regulations.

The full report of the inspection can be found on this website.

The service uses the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) which gives recommendations about people's nutritional requirements if they are at risk of malnutrition. Inspectors found the home had not followed the requirements. Staff were not aware of what snacks were available for people who were diabetic.

Inspectors found Medication Administration Records for people's prescribed topical medicines had not been completed. CQC also found there were no dates of opening on people's topical medicines and topical medicines had not been destroyed in line with the manufacturer's guidance. Following the visit on 26 June the manager had put in place a new system to manage people's topical records, however inspectors found the system was not always adhered to.

The management team told CQC staff provided activities for people each afternoon. However staff said they were not always available to do this as they were often called away to carry out other duties. During this inspection CQC saw staff had put a film on the television for people who were then left unsupervised. Inspectors found staff were not deployed to provide appropriate supervision of people.

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

“People are entitled to services which provide safe, effective, compassionate and well-led high quality care.

“We found the care provided at St Mary’s Care Home fell a long way short of the standards we expect services to provide. “We are deeply concerned that despite a number of requirements for improvement made during our last inspection, these had not been acted upon, placing people at risk of harm, and continuing to let people down. This must not continue.

“We are now taking further action to protect people and we will report on this when the legal process is complete. In the meantime we will continue to work with Durham County Council ensure that people are safe and get the services they need.”

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


For further information please contact CQC Regional Communications 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

Since 1 April 2015, 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.

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.