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BAN PLACED: Children’s home failings slammed by inspectors

BAN PLACED: Children’s home failings slammed by inspectors

The care home, run by Nugent Care 19, Image: Google Maps

A catalogue of failings at a Sefton children’s home has led Ofsted to ban any more children being placed in its care.

The care home, run by Nugent Care 19, part of the Nugent Care Society, in Sefton was described by one child interviewed by inspectors as “not a happy home.”

In a damning Ofsted report, released after an inspection was carried out in October at Clumber Lodge Care Home for Children & Young People in Sefton, inspectors found a long list of problems with the way the home was being run.

Inspectors said the home, which at the time of inspection housed 11 children, many experiencing emotional, social or learning difficulties, was “failing to provide effective care and support” to the children in its care.

Serious safeguarding shortfalls were identified, including improper documentation of physical intervention, a failure to properly record feedback to children on complaints made as well as unclean bedrooms and in one case a child sleeping on a broken bed.

Inspectors said internal communal doors were “routinely locked” preventing some children from access to shared living areas and that there was a failure to provide children with clear boundaries or settle them at bed time.

Several incidents were referred to in the report including problems with physical restraint and safety strategies with inspectors noting that “records of physical intervention do not provide a detailed account of the incident and do not include whether children have sustained an injury or the child’s view about what happened.”

The report added: “The registered manager and staff have a reactive approach which and has resulted in physical interventions and an increase in challenging and aggressive behaviour.

“On several occasions, staff have called the police to help them manage children’s behaviour.

“This fails to demonstrate safe and responsible care and does not evidence that the direct concerns raised at previous inspections are being addressed.”

The management of medication at the home was also described as problematic and in one case left a child able to overdose on a large amount of medication.

The report said: “Medication, including controlled drugs, have not been stored securely. On one occasion, a child got hold of a large amount of medication.

“The child took an overdose and required medical attention leaving them at risk of significant harm.”

Pre-employment screening and referencing for staff were also identified as inadequate and criticism was made of the record keeping as to which staff members were on duty at particular times.

According to the report, problems with staff turnover and shortages resulted in there being occasions when “children have been looked after by 12 different people on the same day.”

The report slammed the “serious shortfalls in leadership and management” and noted that the registered manager has been absent from the home since September 2021.

The report added that weaknesses had been identified in August 2021 after an audit had been carried out by Nugent Care, shortfalls “consistent with those found by inspectors.”

These included not enough suitable staff to care safely for children or bring about improvements in care and safeguarding practice.

An inspection in 2019 had rated the home ‘good’ overall, although in December 2020 a monitoring visit had identified “significant shortfalls in safeguarding practice, care planning for children, and the leadership and management of the home.”

That inspection led to three compliance notices issued which were deemed ‘met’ at a further visit in January 2021.

After the inspection of October 2021, Ofsted issued six compliance notices and placed a restriction on further children being placed at the home, deeming the home as “inadequate” overall and in all areas inspected.

CEO of Nugent Care, Normandie Wragg, responding to the report, told the ECHO: “Clumber Lodge Care Home for Children & Young People has previously held an “outstanding” rating and still holds a really good reputation in the region as a place that provides life-changing and outcome focussed care and support to children and young people who are the most vulnerable in our communities.

“Unfortunately, due to some internal changes, its status has changed currently, but we are working closely with local authority commissioners, our staff team and Ofsted, and doing all we can to improve the quality of our offering so that the children in our care have the best possible experience that we can offer them.”

 

Words: Lisa Randm, Local Democracy Reporter


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