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Director of The Recovery Hub in Ipswich disputes findings of critical CQC report

PUBLISHED: 19:00 05 November 2017

Simon Aalders outside The Royal Oak in 2016 during its conversion into The Recovery Hub. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Simon Aalders outside The Royal Oak in 2016 during its conversion into The Recovery Hub. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

A private rehabilitation centre based in the former Royal Oak pub in Ipswich has been branded unsafe by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Simon Aalders, director of The Recovery Hub, has said he disputes the findings and is lodging an official complaint against the health watchdog.

Following an inspection in August, the CQC has determined the facility was “not delivering safe care and treatment in regards to medication”, and had not resolved issues previously raised.

Among the problems highlighted in the report are:

• Care and treatment records did not contain individualised risk assessments or harm reduction plans;

• Clients’ physical health was not monitored during detoxification and it was also not assessed before admission;

• Managers did not seek references from previous employers prior to staff starting work at the hub or conduct risk assessment on workers with previous criminal convictions.

The report also states that the centre did not have access to emergency medication to reverse the effects of an overdose, and staff were not provided with overdose prevention or awareness training.

Following its last inspection, the CQC issued three warning notices in relation to regulations in: safe care and treatment; safeguarding service users from abuse and improper treatment; and good governance. During its most recent visit, the watchdog found the hub had “not fully addressed all of these previous concerns”.

However, the CQC did find examples of good practice, including the variety of treatment on offer, and clients told inspectors they felt “safe and secure” in the service.

The Recovery Hub, in Felixstowe Road, opened 18 months ago and people have to pay to receive treatment.

Mr Aalders said: “There are a number of inaccuracies within the report. If the report was accurate how come we have conducted over 170 successful detoxifications without incident, nine out of 10 people successfully complete treatment and a third extend their time with us? We are full, have a waiting list and we have had a lot of positive feedback from residents and people that stay and work with us.”

The CQC does not rate independent substance misuse services.

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