Improvements made at troubled nursing home in Chipping Sodbury

Hitan Patel and Ian Knowles outside The Heathers Nursing Home in Chipping Sodbury

Hitan Patel and Ian Knowles outside The Heathers Nursing Home in Chipping Sodbury

First published in News Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury

A CHIPPING Sodbury nursing home which was nearly closed down at the start of the year is now meeting all government standards following a dramatic turnaround.

In January, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published a damning report into the standards of care and cleanliness at The Heathers Nursing Home on Bowling Hill. It found people were not being allowed to live with dignity and some patients were not receiving the correct medication putting them at risk of malnutrition and dehydration.

Inspectors were so concerned for the safety of residents they alerted South Gloucestershire Council’s safeguarding board which immediately put a block on new admissions.

But in just six months, the home has dramatically improved and after a fresh CQC review, inspectors said they found a very different home.

A report published last week said: “Significant improvements had been made following our visit in January 2012 and people were very positive about their experiences. Comments included ‘I cannot believe the change in people, it's so lovely to see how people's wellbeing has improved’.

“A member of staff told us ‘I enjoy coming to work now and I feel proud’.”

The home is now meeting all 11 of the CQC’s standards of care which include supporting staff, medication management and cleanliness.

Hitan Patel, director of Acacia Care which owns The Heathers, said the company and his staff had worked tirelessly to turn things around.

“We are a different home now,” he told the Gazette. “We have made a lot of positive changes and I think the report reflects that. We have gone from being a home which didn’t comply with any of the CQC outcomes to one that is fully compliant.

“It has been a big turnaround and we have invested a lot of money in new equipment and staff training. But I never want to be in the position we were in again.”

Mr Patel said the improvements were largely down to the appointment of new manager Ian Knowles and clinical lead nurse Mary Nyakandi.

Mr Knowles said: “Everything has changed. We have introduced a new care plan system so everyone’s care is recorded and consequently people’s nursing needs are supported effectively.

“The atmosphere is much better and it is very friendly. Everyone works very hard, I think they realised the seriousness of the situation and I am proud of them.”

Only one resident moved out of The Heathers as a result of the January report but there has been a steep decline in new admissions with 18 residents currently living at the home, which has a 29-bed capacity.

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