Can lessons be learned from closure of failing Friars Hall care home in Hadleigh?

Friars Hall Nursing Home in Hadleigh has been ranked inadequate by inspectors.

Friars Hall Nursing Home in Hadleigh has been ranked inadequate by inspectors. - Credit: Staff

Health commissioners are calling for lessons to be learned from the closure of a failing home into which a criminal investigation has been launched.

Friars Hall in Hadleigh closed just days before Christmas following an ‘inadequate’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which left 39 residents with dementia needing to be rehoused.

The Ipswich and East Suffolk Care Quality Commission’s governing body, which met on Tuesday, reported that agencies worked quickly to find alternative placements. Despite praising the effective response, questions were asked about whether the problems could have been avoided.

Imran Qureshi, chairman of the clinical executive, said: “We really need to understand, was there anything more we could have done earlier?”

Chief nursing officer Barbara McLean said feedback sessions were being held this week and would be reported back to the governing body.

She said that following the CQC inspection, it became “very clear” that the home would not be able to meet the required standards, which led to a legal order being made for its closure. However, Ms McLean stressed the quick response from agencies had enabled the home to close in an “orderly manner”. Clinical executive member John Flather said agencies had worked “tirelessly” to improve it.

The CQC inspectors had raised a catalogue of concerns in their report, including moving and handling processes that were “not safe and staff training was not effective,” and that “care plans did not give a correct indication of people’s current and changing needs”.

Suffolk Constabulary confirmed last week it was investigating “an isolated incident” at the home.

“Suffolk police have been working with the CQC and other agencies in relation to Friars Hall and there is an ongoing police investigation as a result of this,” a spokesman added.

Most Read

Suffolk County Council said closure of the home was “the right thing to do”.

However, the Suffolk Association of Independent Care Providers questioned at the time why a phased closure was not put in place.

The home has not responded to previous requests for comment.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter