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Dalton Court Care Home is rated Inadequate and placed into special measures by CQC

21 September 2015
  • Media

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated Dalton Court Care Home, in Cockermouth, Cumbria as Inadequate and has placed the home into special measures following inspections in May and June this year.

During the inspections CQC found the provider, Amore Elderly Care Limited, was failing to provide care which was safe, effective, caring, well-led or responsive to people’s needs.

Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all adult social care services are being given a rating to help people make informed choices about their care. Overall, Dalton Court Care Home has been rated as Inadequate.

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

The report identifies a number of areas in which improvements are required, including:

  • Inspectors found that there were not always enough staff on duty to meet people’s needs, especially during the night time.
  • Care plans and records contained contradictory information and were not being updated to take account of people’s changing needs.
  • Inspectors found that people living in the home were not kept safe due to poor medicines management. Medicines were not always being administered and recorded correctly and care plans did not provide clear guidance for staff where people were prescribed medicines “as required”.
  • People living at the home had not been assessed as to whether they had the mental capacity to make decisions regarding their care and inspectors were concerned that people were having their liberty restricted because they were not allowed to leave the home if they wished.
  • Safeguarding procedures in place were not robust and there had been a number of incidents that had occurred at the home that had not been reported to the local authority safeguarding team or to CQC as is required.
  • Staff working at the home told inspectors that they lacked the skills and knowledge to support those people living at the home who may display aggressive behaviour.
  • Audits to monitor and assess the quality of service being provided were undertaken, however, the extent to which actions for improvement were being identified or implemented were not apparent.
  • Staff raised concerns regarding low morale and told inspectors that they felt management was unapproachable.

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

“It is essential that Amore Elderly Care Limited takes action to address the concerns we identified during the inspection. The provider has a responsibility to ensure that people living at Dalton Court are safe and that they receive care that fully meets their needs.

“We have placed this service in special measures and made it clear where improvements are required.

“Since the inspection we have been working closely with the local authority to ensure that residents are not at risk and we have met with the provider who has already started to implement changes in response to our findings.

“We will re-inspect the home within six months to check whether sufficient improvements have been made. If we find that the service being provided remains inadequate, we will consider taking further steps to cancel its registration with CQC."

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 Kirstin Hannaford, CQC Regional Engagement Manager, on 0191 233 3629. 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


CQC has published a full report detailing the findings of their inspection at


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


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.