Sheffield housing unit placed in special measures amid safety concerns

Bellhouse Mews, in Shiregreen, Sheffield
Bellhouse Mews, in Shiregreen, Sheffield
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The managers of an 'inadequate' housing scheme for vulnerable adults in Sheffield have been ordered to make urgent improvements.

Bellhouse Mews, in Bellhouse Road, Shiregreen, was given the lowest possible rating by government watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

An inspector found medicines were not stored safely, care records were incomplete, and insufficient checks were carried out on new recruits.

The home has been placed in special measures, meaning that if sufficient improvement is not made enforcement action could be taken against the provider Esto Care.

However, Esto Care said it had already taken steps to address the concerns raised, and was confident the establishment's rating would soon improve.

Dr Kofi Nyero, the organisation's director of operations, accepted service levels had dropped following the loss of a number of staff between the end of 2015 and May last year, but said a new unit manager appointed in June had been working hard to restore standards.

Dr Nyero said Esto Care had revised its policies on recruitment, supervision and medication since the inspection, carried out its own unannounced inspections at Bellhouse Mews and consulted residents and their families.

He said similar improvements made at another site it manages in Surrey had resulted in 'good' ratings from the CQC across the board last month.

"We are therefore confident that these changes will have a different outcome on the next inspection and the management are fully committed to ensuring service levels improve and are sustained at a high level in line with our company ethos 'It Could be Me' which runs through our service delivery at all times," he added.

The inspector made an unannounced visit on August 31 last year to Bellhouse Mews, and the report was published on December 21.

As well as being rated 'inadequate' overall, the home received the lowest possible score for safety and leadership and was marked 'requires improvement' for the other three categories assessed.

The report also listed five breaches of health and social care regulations.

In addition to the concerns over the administration of drugs and recruitment procedures raised in the report, the inspector said some residents complained about being bored and risk assessments were often either insufficient or non-existent.

"One of the care records we looked at did not contain any risk assessments, the person concerned had been assessed as needing support to take their medicines," the report stated.

"A risk assessment could have identified why this was the case and how to best support the person in this area and therefore mitigate against the risks of not taking their medicines."

The inspector acknowledged that residents reported feeling safe and found staff 'caring and supportive', and that employees understood how to protect people from abuse.

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