Third Castlebeck service to close after safeguarding failings

A third Castlebeck learning disability service will close after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) identified serious failings in areas, including safeguarding and staff recruitment. Castlebeck chief executive Lee Reed (pictured) said the provider was working to ensure that there was "minimum disruption" to the care of residents at the Solihull setting.

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A third Castlebeck learning disability service will close after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) identified serious failings in areas, including safeguarding and staff recruitment.

Castlebeck agreed to close Arden Vale after the CQC served a legal notice to close it. Like Winterbourne View, Arden Vale, in Meriden, Solihull, is a hospital catering for people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour.

The service will close on 25 August to allow the company and commissioners to find suitable care alternatives for the residents. The decision follows the closure of Winterbourne View in June and Rose Villa, a care home in Bristol, last month.

“The CQC raised serious concerns about the care provided at Arden Vale and demanded improvements,” said Andrea Gordon, CQC’s regional director for the West and East Midlands. “When we did not see evidence of these improvements, we took action to protect people by initiating the legal process required to close a service.

“Throughout, the CQC has been working closely with the local safeguarding authority and the organisations paying for the care of people at Arden Vale to ensure that people living at the service are safe.”

The CQC made unannounced inspections of Arden Vale on 3, 13 and 14 June 2011. Inspectors had major concerns that 12 of the 16 essential standards for care providers were not being met.

Specific concerns included inappropriate use of restraint, appropriate consent not being obtained from people for their care and treatment and service users not being able to move around freely. Some staff were recruited with no experience of health and social care and arrangements were not in place to ensure that recruits received appropriate specialist training.

The CQC inspected all 23 Castlebeck locations in England after the exposure of the Winterbourne View abuse scandal by BBC Panorama, and Rose Villa and Arden Vale were among four services that it initiated enforcement action against.

Castlebeck chief executive Lee Reed said it was working to ensure that there was “minimum disruption” to the care of Arden Vale’s residents.

“We remain deeply sorry and apologise for any incidences where our services have in the past not met the high standards that we, those we support and their families, expect and deserve,” he said.

Reed pointed to action Castlebeck was taking to improve staff training and services, including the recruitment of 10 more senior managers.

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