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Southwark in “care home crisis” after another premises enters special measures

Southwark is in a “care home crisis” as another premises plunges into special measures and the council is now refusing to place anyone in three of the borough’s nine homes.

National watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated Burgess Park care home as ‘inadequate’ in a report released last week, putting the Four Seasons home in Picton Street into special measures, alongside Tower Bridge care home, as reported in the News in July.

Southwark Council has put an embargo in place which prevents any elderly people being placed in either home until standards improve.

This has also been the case for HC-One’s Camberwell Green home for over a year.

The CQC carried out an unannounced inspection at the Burgess Park home in July where they found safe standards of cleanliness were not always maintained and residents were not always treated with dignity and respect.

The home will be inspected again in six months to see if standards have “significantly improved.”

Liberal Democrat councillor, Maria Lyndforth-Hall, who was “shocked” when she personally inspected all three homes in question, said the council’s embargo risked Southwark’s elderly being placed outside the borough. “It is not acceptable that vulnerable elderly people are being placed out of the borough away from their family and friends,” she said. “It is clear that we are facing a care home crisis in Southwark. It’s time for the council to get a grip and ensure that care providers in the borough are giving our elderly the high standard of care they are entitled to and that the council is paying for.”

Stephanie Cryan, Southwark’s cabinet member for adult social care, described the fact that three care homes in the borough were now under embargo as “extremely disappointing” and said the council would continue to work with the CQC to ensure their concerns were “urgently addressed.”

A spokesperson for Four Seasons Health Care said: “We are very sorry that the care at Burgess Park did not meet the standards that we expect all of our homes to provide,” and confirmed a new home manager had been put in place since the CQC inspection. There have been no recorded complaints since the new manager came in but a ‘comprehensive improvement plan’ is still being undertaken in cooperation with the CQC and the council.

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