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Care home for people with autism or learning difficulties put in special measures after CQC report


A care home catering for autistic people and those with learning disabilities has been put in special measures.

The decision came after the People in Action, 132 Manor Court Road home, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, had an unannounced inspection from health and care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

One of the CQC’s main findings during the inspection was that people were often left alone in their rooms with no interaction.

The care home provides accommodation and personal care for up to eight people and was rated as "good" by the CQC in 2018.

The latest inspection was prompted partly by the death of one of the residents, which is subject to further investigation by the police and CQC.

In its report the CQC said there was little interaction between residents or encouragement to socialise in the local community. The regulator also highlighted safety failings in handling medication, staff training and record keeping.

CQC director, Rebecca Bauers, said: "We expect health and social care providers to guarantee people with a learning disability and autistic people the safety, choices, dignity, and independence that most people take for granted.

"One person spent a whole day in their room and staff didn't attempt to interact with them, other than to give them their meal. This culture is totally unacceptable and people deserve a higher standard of care."

Inspectors said staff reported they had not received up-to-date training in how to support autistic people or those with other needs, nor had training to support those with health conditions such as diabetes or with catheters.

Some findings from the report included that people had limited opportunities to leave the service and pursue social interests within their local community; there was limited guidance to inform staff how to enrich people's lives through positive engagement and meaningful activities and some residents weren't always given their prescribed medicine.

Other concerns included that people using the service were not always supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and were not always involved in making decisions about their care. Also risks associated with people's health and wellbeing were not always managed safely and, where risks had been identified, some records contained conflicting information about how staff should manage them.

Ms Bauers added: "Staff weren't aware of the different types of epilepsy, the risks of a seizure, and preventative actions to take to keep people safe as this information wasn't included in risk management plans. One person's care record stated they hadn't had a seizure since 2021, yet inspectors were told by staff that the person had suffered one last year."

The care home will be closely monitored and has been asked to produce an action plan on how it is going to tackle the points raised.

People in Action, which described the report as a "difficult read", said: "We know what we must do to put right what has gone wrong and are fully committed to doing so. It is the first time we have received a CQC rating of 'inadequate' and been placed in special measures. The reasons for the failings are many and varied but there are no excuses."