Council stops sending people to three care homes due to concerns over quality of care

Wirral Council has revealed it has stopped sending people to three care homes due to concerns over the quality of care there.

The move is part of a new policy that has recently come into effect having been approved by councillors in March. This followed a critical report last year that found there were no outstanding care homes on the Wirral and the quality of care was the worst in the North West.

In an effort to improve things, the former chair of the local authority’s social care committee Yvonne Nolan proposed that the council should publish when it had suspended putting people under its care in certain homes.

At a November 2022 meeting, then-councillor Nolan said, “The reality is that we need to be transparent. If it is not good enough for council money for people to be homed, why should the public’s money be handed over to these care homes?”

The new name and shame policy went live on 1 July and three care homes have been listed on the council’s InfoBank website. This includes two care homes, Dundoran Nursing and Residential Home in Noctorum and Anchorage Nursing Home in Hoylake, that were recently slammed in Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports.

At Dundoran, the CQC were told by a relative that a resident was found ‘in their own urine” and faeces was found in parts of the home. The report found evidence “people were at serious risk of harm” and placed it into special measures.

However, the home insisted the issues are historic and works to improve things have taken place since. They said they received positive feedback from the CQC at a recent inspection but Wirral Council has still suspended putting people in the home.

At Anchorage, issues around fire safety were found to have not been tackled, medicines were not managed safely, and people were kept in “undignified conditions.”

The care home apologised saying “the standards in the home are not yet at the level expected” but a refurbishment program had taken place and made progress addressing the concerns.

Sandrock Nursing Home in Wallasey has also had new council placements suspended from July 2021 and it was rated inadequate in its most recent CQC report. This found “management of people’s medicines remained unsafe” and a poor inspection history. Sandrock declined to comment.

Cllr Janette Williamson, chair of the council’s social care committee, said, “Quality improvement is fundamental to providing good care to our residents.

“Wirral’s Adult Care Quality and Suspension policy agreed in March this year outlines how we will review care homes, compare them with CQC reports, suspend contracts, and agree improvement plans as appropriate.

“As part of this policy, publishing the details of any providers that are under suspension to new placements is vital to ensuring that residents are able to make informed decisions when placing their relative in a home.

“Poor-quality services are not acceptable to our communities and as the commissioning authority, this policy enables our officers to introduce robust new measures to improve care quality.

“It should also support a more equitable approach where homes with good quality standards are recognised for their work.”

Images: (L-R) Sandrock Nursing Home, Dundoran Nursing and Residential Home, and Anchorage Nursing Home. Credit: GOOGLE

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