Eastbourne care home criticises ‘requires improvement’ rating

Meads House Care Home in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Meads House Care Home in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

An Eastbourne care home has criticised the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after being rated ‘requires improvement’ in its latest report.

The rating comes following an inspection of Meads House residential care home in Denton Road in June.

CQC inspectors found the home was ‘good’ in three categories – safe, caring, and well-led – but said it ‘requires improvement’ in its ‘effective’ and ‘responsive’ categories.

The report, published on the CQC website, said, “We saw people being treated with kindness and compassion at all times and people told us that they were happy with their care and treatment.”

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However, aspects it says need to be improved included adapting the environment and decorations of the home to ‘better meet’ the needs of those with dementia.

It also said activities were ‘not always personalised and inclusive’ to meet the needs of people living there, and there was a ‘lack of evidence’ of good practise guidance being proactively used to ensure the service continues to deliver the best care for people living with dementia.

But a positive aspect of the report said staff found time for patients. It said, “We observed staff reading the day’s headlines to people and chatting about the news. We also observed staff encouraging a person to play the piano and dancing with people. One person told us, ‘The staff always have time to dance with me’.”

Patients at Meads House were treated with dignity and respect, it found.

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However, when the Herald approached the care home, its managing director had some reservations about the report.

Prital Moskal said, “We understand not everything can be done in one visit whilst observations are also being made by CQC on the day itself, but having experience as a provider of prior inspections for the last 20 plus years, we have always been given lists of things to produce as evidences and send to them so that they can follow up and finalise, or else they visit the following day to sort out the actual records and paperwork.

“This was not done at all, we had to challenge them for the same for which there were no comments made by CQC.

“Regarding their comments in the report for effective and responsive categories, once again we provided all evidences, but this time around their ‘subjective’ decision was not to consider our comments.

“Regulations have not changed since our last inspection, and we have used the same models and methods and updates as necessary. However, for the comments made this time around – according to the old inspectors, our model was worth ‘good’ rating in 2017 and prior inspections to that time – but, according to the new inspectors, it is not worth a ‘good’ rating but instead worth a ‘requires improvement’ rating.

“I find this in itself contradicting with the way CQC inspections are carried out and written up based on their subjective opinions, there is simply no consistency.

“It constantly changes with each different team visiting, and is overall highly subjective. Unfortunately, providers like us are stuck with the ‘High Almighty CQC’ and their ratings as they are the only ‘police’, given all the power to control and decide on the fate of all health care, a majorly flawed system that we have come up with.

“We have already put into action the various points and comments raised in our report, and are working on others to complete, thus preparing ourselves for the next subjective inspection.”

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Responding to this, Amanda Stride, head of inspection for adult social care in the South East, said, “CQC inspectors always assess the quality of care and answer five key questions; are services safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led? All inspection reports are subject to an internal quality assurance process and providers have the opportunity to check on factual accuracy prior to publication.

“The inspection follows a consistent and systematic process while our focus is the experience of people using the service and how the provider continually improves the service to meet people’s specific needs.”