CQC rates Barnsley care home inadequate

Published: 22 May 2024 Page last updated: 22 May 2024

Royal Court Care Home, in Barnsley, has been rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and placed in special measures to protect people, following an assessment carried out in February.

It is a residential care home, run by Healthmade Limited, providing accommodation and personal care to older people, some of whom are living with dementia. The service can support up to 40 people. At the time of this assessment there were 34 people living the home.

The assessment was prompted in part due to concerns risks and personal care being provided to people.

Following this assessment, the home’s overall rating has dropped from requires improvement to inadequate, as have its ratings for being safe and well-led. Its ratings for being caring and responsive have again been rated good.  On this occasion, the home wasn’t rated for how effective it was; therefore, it remains rated good from a previous inspection.

The service has been placed in special measures, which means it will be kept under close review by CQC to keep people safe and it will continue to monitor to check sufficient improvements are being made. If CQC doesn’t see rapid and widespread improvements, further action will be taken.

Alan Stephenson, CQC deputy director of operations in the north, said:

“When we assessed Royal Court Care Home, it was concerning to see a lack of strong leadership, and the culture they created didn’t encourage high-quality care. This lack of strong leadership was affecting people living at the home because there weren’t good enough processes in place to enable staff to provide safe, dignified care.

“During our visit, we couldn’t be confident people were safeguarded from abuse and avoidable harm. The feedback from staff showed there was risk concerns may not be reported and we saw unsafe practice with regards the moving and handling of people in hoists. Staff weren’t always managing the risks to people safely putting them at risk of avoidable harm.

“We found the service hadn’t ensured people were given choices or received care specific to their needs and preferences. Staff didn’t explore meal options with people so they could make choices themselves. We also saw people didn’t have a choice of food at lunchtime and if they wanted something else to eat, they had to ask for it which would be difficult for people living with dementia.

“The home hadn’t put systems in place to get feedback from people using the service or their relatives, so they could be used to drive improvements at the service. When we spoke to staff, they told us they didn’t feel confident reporting concerns as they didn’t believe the registered manager would keep their identity confidential.

"We have told Royal Court Care Home where we expect to see rapid and widespread improvements and will continue to monitor them closely to keep people safe while this happens. We will return to check on their progress and won’t hesitate to take action if people are not receiving the care they have a right to expect.”

Inspectors found:

  • Concerns around the management of people's medicines, the management of people's risk and infection control
  • They had not ensured there was an effective system in place to ensure people’s risks were managed effectively and people’s safety and independence was promoted
  • People were not provided with meaningful activities, linked to hobbies and interests that the person enjoyed before coming to live at the service
  • We found people were not always supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives because choice was not always actively promoted
  • The provider had not ensured that safety events were investigated and reported thoroughly, and lessons were learned to continually identify and embed good practices.


  • Robust recruitment procedures were in place
  • There were sufficient staff at the service and they had received training relevant to their role.

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.