Amicura Limited ordered to pay £200,181 after failing to provide safe care and treatment

Published: 26 May 2023 Page last updated: 26 May 2023

A care provider has been ordered to pay a total of £200,181.00 at Northamptonshire Magistrates’ Court, after it failed to protect residents from avoidable harm.

Amicura Limited which operated Temple Court Care Home in Kettering, Northamptonshire was fined £120,000 in court today (Tuesday 23 May). It was also ordered to pay a £181.00 victim surcharge and £80,000 costs to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which brought this prosecution. Temple Court is now closed. Following a CQC inspection the provider took the decision to close the service.

CQC prosecuted Amicura Limited over four charges. The first was due to them increasing the numbers of people living at Temple Court Care Home. This was done without properly assessing the impact that such an increase would have on the health and safety of everyone living there. In addition, failing to provide safe care and treatment which resulted in avoidable harm to people living in the service.

The second charge was around new residents moving into Temple Court. These new residents weren’t properly assessed and the impact of the move on existing residents hadn’t been taken into account. By not doing so, the provider exposed people to a significant risk of avoidable harm.

The third charge, CQC brought was around Amicura Limited failing to manage the risks to people receiving care and treatment resulting in avoidable harm to people living there. This included lack of oversight from the provider.

Finally, the fourth charge, Amicura Limited did not effectively manage risks to the health and safety of people living at the service. The lack of oversight and clinical support exposed people to a significant risk of avoidable harm.

Temple Court Care Home was a nursing home in Kettering. CQC had documented concerns about the service since 2019 when at a recent inspection, and with the home at 50% capacity in terms of residents, the service was rated as requires improvement.

Between late February 2020 and early April 2020, against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people transferred to Temple Court Care home increased from 25 to 51. During that time the provider did not adequately assess the risk of people living there and there was no manager or assistant manager in place. A senior carer was left to take charge of the home with limited support from the provider – which wasn’t enough. 

By 29 April 2020, the level of care and treatment being provided at Temple Court had deteriorated to such a degree that the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) (whose remit is now undertaken by NHS Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board) received a number of complaints, safeguarding referrals and whistleblowing reports.

On 30 April 2020, the Northamptonshire CCG visited the home. As a result of the state of care they discovered, the provider agreed to suspend further admissions to the service and nursing staff from the CCG were brought in to give support.

By 12 May stakeholders agreed that the situation was not safe, and the local authority and CCG took the decision to move everyone out of Temple Court Care Home.

CQC inspected Temple Court on 12-13 May and found there had been a catalogue of failings, people were malnourished and dehydrated and there were not enough staff to provide safe care that met people's needs. There was also a lack good medicines management and effective treatment. For example, people’s diabetes had not been controlled and people’s pressure sores had not been tended to effectively.

Ros Sanderson, CQC deputy director of enforcement, said:

“The people living at Temple Court Care Home were catastrophically let down by the care provider’s poor systems and processes.

"We expect all residents to receive care and treatment in a safe way and to make sure that when people move into a service, the leadership team have the managerial oversight to keep people safe.

"Anyone would expect that if a service was to double the number of the people living at their service, managers would have undertaken risk assessments for those people moving in and ensured that there was enough staff to ensure people’s safety, particularly during the pandemic. This did not happen at Temple Court.

"Amicura Limited has failed in its specific legal duty to protect residents from being exposed to a significant risk of harm, which is why they have been fined £120,000.

"I would hope this prosecution reminds all care providers they must always ensure people’s safety and manage risks to their wellbeing.

"The majority of care providers do an excellent job but when they don’t, we can and will take action to hold providers to account and protect people.”

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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.