Bupa to close care home following council’s decision to remove residents

Oakhurst Grange nursing home will close following critical CQC reports and safeguarding action by West Sussex council that led it to start removing state-funded residents.

Bupa is to close a nursing home following safeguarding concerns that led a local authority to decide it would remove 52 residents placed there.

Oakhurst Grange in Crawley is due to be closed by 31 July though the residents placed by West Sussex council or the NHS are expected to move out by early July.

Last week, the council said it would be finding new homes for state-funded residents because their “health, safety and welfare are at risk”. The Care Quality Commission has inspected Oakhurst Grange six times in the past year, and its latest report – from an inspection in May – found the home to have significantly breached standards on care and welfare, adequate staffing levels and support for staff. Inspectors found:

  • Significant concerns among relatives about inadequate staffing levels and skills levels, particularly among agency staff; for example, one relative said they found their family member soaked to the chest in urine at 12.30pm, then sought assistance from the agency staff member on duty but this did not come until later in the afternoon;
  • An agency staff member who had not been given information about a resident prior to supporting them;
  • Managers saying that residents did not get the care they required at time because of a lack of staff;
  • Staff were not receiving regular supervision and that not all staff were even receiving an annual appraisal;
  • Staff were not aware of whether people they were caring for had a Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) form in place when asked;

The council is now in the process of reassessing its residents and those placed by the NHS under continuing healthcare; it has also offered to reassess self-funding residents at the home as well as providing them with information and advice.

“We recognise this will be a stressful time for all residents – as well as for staff,” said Jeremy Shannon, interim operations manager (northern area) for West Sussex council. “We have now spoken with all publicly-funded residents and/or their relatives and continue to provide the necessary support for them as they make their choices over alternative care accommodation.”

The council has warned that available care home accommodation in the northern part of the county was “at a premium” and residents may not get their first-choice home.

Shannon added: “Clearly the actions we have taken in this instance have generated concern and anxiety among residents and families, but equally we have also received a lot of support for our actions. This was action we had to take – as outlined by reports from the Care Quality Commission.”

Following its decision to close Oakhurst Grange, Bupa’s director of operations, Richard Jackson, said: “Our priority is to provide the best care that we can while residents remain with us and to support the staff in the home to deliver that care. We are speaking to residents and their families to see what help they need and we will provide whatever practical support we can.”

Story revised 27 June to include reference to latest CQC report.

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