Nine Ipswich care homes are ‘under-performing’

Monmouth court care home. Ipswich

Monmouth court care home. Ipswich

Almost 500 elderly and vulnerable people in Ipswich are living in under-performing care homes, our investigation has found.

Nine care homes caring for a total of 488 residents in the town are rated either inadequate, requires improvement or, under the previous rating system, not fully compliant by the health watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has, however, rated 18 of the town’s care homes as good or outstanding, or classed them as compliant. The homes cater for 580 elderly people.

Suffolk County Council has today pledged to help care homes improve care by launching a dedicated team to investigate concerns raised by residents and families.

The findings come after Monmouth Court Nursing Home, which cares for 153 residents and is privately run by Bupa, was rated inadequate by the QCQ last month. It was previously rated requires improvement.

Two other care homes in Ipswich are also rated inadequate – Anglesea Heights Nursing Home, which cares for up to 120 residents and is also run by Bupa, and Beechlawn Residential Home, which cares for up to 36 elderly people and is run by Leafoak Limited.

Both Bupa and Leafoak Limited have said they have taken immediate action to address CQC’s concerns and are working closely with external health professionals to make improvements.

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They say they are implementing “robust leadership and management plans” and holding regular meetings with residents and their families.

But it means up to 309 residents, some with complex medical needs such as dementia or physical needs, are living in care homes rated inadequate – the lowest possible of four ratings issued by the CQC.

Another five care homes in Ipswich are rated requires improvement – the second-worst rating behind good and outstanding. A total of 156 residents are living in these homes.

Beccy Hopfensperger, cabinet member for adult care at Suffolk County Council, said: “Our adult and community service team is committed to ensuring that residents are supported by care homes which deliver a quality service.

“We work closely with the NHS, CQC and other key organisations in the monitoring of care homes and engage directly with people using care home services through social work contact and visits to these homes.

“The council works with care home providers to provide support while improvements are made. The council is developing an expanded contracts team to monitor more services proactively and help identify concerns and issues.

“We are also bringing together the Quality Improvement Team and the Dignity Support Team to form an enhanced Provider Support Team to work with providers. This will offer more intensive interventions and support for providers to make improvements where these are necessary.”

Andy Yacoub, chief executive of Healthwatch Suffolk, urged families to report any concerns over care homes to them.

He said: “We recognise that there is inconsistency in the quality of care provided across the county and Healthwatch Suffolk is constantly striving to help improve service quality. We will do this through our close working relationship with the Care Quality Commission, Suffolk County Council and providers.

“We are always interested to hear the views of people with regard to the care they, or a relative, receive within a residential or nursing home so that we can independently represent their views.”

To do so, call 01449 703949 or email.