A CARE home placed its patients at ‘significant risk of harm’, inspectors have said, as they rate it ‘inadequate’ – a downgrade from last year.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) made an unannounced inspection to Nicholas House in Burnham, South Bucks – which provides residential care for up to 30 people who are either under or above 65 years old, including residents living with dementia – on January 9 and gave the home the worst rating on the care rating system.

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Both safety and management were rated ‘inadequate’ whereas effectiveness and meeting people’s needs was rated as ‘requires improvement’.

The report revealed no member of staff had undertaken fall prevention training – putting patients’ welfare at risk – with 10 people suffering falls, some with serious injury, and no post-fall assessment on those who had fallen.

The management was heavily criticised by CQC inspectors for not improving the quality of service since the last inspection, where they found care records were not kept up-to-date, failures to provide staff training and failures to identify, monitor and address issues regarding people falling and suffering injuries at the home.

However, the staff were praised for treating their patients with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect for their patients’ privacy and not discriminating against anyone.

One resident said: “The girls (care staff) are great. If I am not well or unhappy, I can talk to them.”

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Nicholas House – which is run by the Abbeyfield (Maidenhead) Society Limited – was rated ‘requires improvement’ last March where four out of the five areas graded were downgraded from either ‘good’ or ‘requires improvement’ to ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’.

A spokesperson for Abbeyfield Maidenhead said they feel ‘confident’ the care home will receive a good rating at the next inspection.

They said: “We are very disappointed by this rating; however, we did have some staff issues over the winter, which have now been resolved. CQC provided an action plan pre the issues raised, and the manager and staff are working hard to rectify these issues, which mainly involves better processes for monitoring and auditing.

“The care our residents receive is always of the highest quality and we continue to have positive responses and compliments from relatives and residents. The majority of our residents are with us through word of mouth and positive feedback from friends and family.”