Leicester Mercury



- By AMY ORTON Local Democracy Reporter amy.orton@reachplc.com @amy__orton

A CARE home is closing and its residents moved out after a health watchdog stepped in to protect their “safety and welfare”, writes Amy Orton.

The Care Quality Commission said it had taken “urgent enforcemen­t action” at The Limes, in Hinckley.

The home, owned by Leicesters­hire County Care Ltd, is in special measures after an inspection in June. It had 34 residents at the time. A spokesman said: “Where possible, we will seek to relocate staff and residents to other local homes in the group.”

A CARE home is set to close as soon as new homes are found for its elderly residents after a health watchdog confirmed it stepped in to protect residents and has taken “urgent enforcemen­t action”.

The Mercury was told The Limes, in Hinckley, had been visited by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and that staff had been told it would be closing.

No details for the closure have been revealed, but it comes after a damning report in January by the CQC, which revealed inspectors had found bodily matter encrusted on bedding and “odorous”, stained and dirty bedrooms at the home.

When the CQC returned in June, its inspection team witnessed staff not wearing masks while caring for residents and said inspectors were particular­ly concerned about the state of the “dirty” home given the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other concerns included the number of falls recorded.

The report written following the June inspection also revealed “multiple” staff had contacted the CQC to blow the whistle. They said they “did not feel able to keep people safe and did not always have time to provide the care and support people required and this meant people were at risk of harm and neglect”.

The home is owned by Leicesters­hire County Care Ltd, and is one of five run by the company in Leicesters­hire which are currently rated as “inadequate” or “requires improvemen­t”. It was providing care for 34 residents when it was last inspected.

Residents were in the process of being moved out when the Mercury visited the home yesterday.

A CQC spokesman yesterday confirmed “urgent enforcemen­t action” had been taken at the home. She said: “The CQC is taking action to protect the safety and welfare of people living at The Limes.

“While our legal processes do not allow us to go into further detail at this time, we are working closely with Leicesters­hire County Council with regard to ensuring people continue to receive the care they need. We will continue to monitor the situation regarding the care home very closely.

“When we issue enforcemen­t at a service, there is a legal process we must follow and the provider has a window of time to respond. During that time we are unable to go public with the specific details.”

Leicesters­hire County Council said it was supporting residents and their families, but as it is not the authority behind the enforcemen­t action, it was not able to confirm whether the home would be closing or the reasons why.

A spokesman for Leicesters­hire

County Care said: “The Care Quality Commission (CQC), the regulator of care homes, has issued an urgent Notice of Decision to remove The Limes as a location where a regulated activity can be carried on from.

“We understand this will be an upsetting time for residents, their families and staff, and our priority remains making sure everyone is kept safe at this challengin­g time.

“Over the coming weeks we are committed to working closely with Leicesters­hire County Council, the CQC, as well as families and their loved ones, to ensure a smooth transition. Where possible, we will seek to relocate staff and residents to other local homes in the group.”

Lib Dem county councillor for Hinckley, Michael Mullaney, said: “It’s clear the owners of The Limes have fallen well short of the standards residents and their families deserve and expect. It, therefore, seems right that the enforcemen­t action has been taken for the welfare of the residents.

“However, this raises questions about the owners of the homes, Leicesters­hire County Care, who own other care homes in the county, how have they been able to carry on running homes when they have been in receipt of such poor reports.

“It’s worrying elderly and frail people are being moved between care homes at any time but it’s especially worrying during the Covid-19 pandemic. I hope every measure can be taken to ensure the residents are moved as safely as possible to new homes.”

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 ?? ANDY BAKER ?? CLOSING: The Limes, Hinckley
ANDY BAKER CLOSING: The Limes, Hinckley

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