CQC rates Cambridgeshire care home inadequate and places it in special measures

Published: 28 October 2022 Page last updated: 1 November 2022

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated a Huntingdonshire care home inadequate and placed it in special measures.

CQC inspected the Red House Care Home, on Bury Road in Ramsey, due to information indicating the home may not have been providing care meeting standards people have a right to expect.

The Red House is run by HC-One. CQC also recently inspected another HC-One home, the Elms in Whittlesey, where it identified serious concerns and it needed to assess whether similar issues were undermining care at the Red House.

The inspection found the service, which is registered to care for up to 60 people living with dementia and physical disabilities, was not providing standards of care people have a right to expect.

In addition to rating it inadequate overall following the inspection, CQC rated the Red House Care Home inadequate for being safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led.

The service was previously rated good overall.

Due to the poor care inspectors found, CQC placed the service in special measures. This means it is being kept under close monitoring.

Louise Broddle, CQC head of inspection for adult social care, said:

“Standards of care at the Red House Care Home were unacceptable and people were at risk of harm.

“Behind this was the failure of the service’s leaders to use good systems and processes to ensure people received high-quality, safe care that managed all risks to their health and wellbeing. This included failing to ensure lessons were learned when things went wrong.

“This situation was worsened because the service didn’t have enough staff to meet people’s needs, and the staff it did have had not received adequate training.

“We also found people were at risk from dehydration and malnourishment, and they experienced weight loss which was not effectively recognised and responded to by staff.

“Responsibility for these failings lies with HC-One as provider of the service. HC-One should have taken all reasonable steps to ensure it could meet people’s needs and ensure their safety. It hadn’t met its responsibilities and consequently subjected its residents at the Red House to unacceptable standards of care.

“We are keeping the Red House under close review and we will not hesitate to take further action if we are not assured it has made significant improvement. This could include requiring the home’s closure.”

The inspection found:

  • The service was not well-led. HC-One did not operate safe and effective governance systems which meant people were at risk of harm. The provider did not respond to their own quality assurance findings to promote safety and improve care
  • There were not enough staff to meet people's needs. People were not protected from harm and lessons were not learnt when things went wrong
  • Risks to people's safety were not appropriately assessed or reduced by staff, and oversight was not effective
  • Medicines processes were not safe, and staff failed to appropriately respond when a person displayed symptoms of an infection
  • People were at risk from dehydration and malnourishment. They experienced weight loss which was not effectively recognised and responded to by staff
  • Peoples needs had not been appropriately assessed and agreed health plans were not always followed
  • Staff had not received effective training to keep people safe, and staff supervision methods were not effective
  • People were not supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff did not support them in the least restrictive way or their best interests because the service’s policies and systems did not support this
  • People were not always treated with dignity and respect by staff. Kind and considerate care was not always evident
  • People, or their relatives if appropriate, were not always supported to be involved in care planning and care plans were not developed for people living with dementia. Responsive care planning did not take place for people who experienced deterioration
  • Social opportunities, engagement and activities were not regularly available for people who remained in their bedrooms.


  • People told inspectors they were supported with their medicines and received pain relief when required
  • People said they were happy with the quality of the meals, and said staff were friendly and kind to them.

Contact information

For enquiries about this press release, email regional.engagement@cqc.org.uk.

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.