Owners of ‘short-staffed’ Castleford care home Whitwood House launch recruitment drive as part of recovery plan

The owners of a care home which was criticised for not having enough staff have started a recruitment drive as part of an improvement plan.

By Tony Gardner
Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 1:54 pm

Whitwood House, in Castleford, was taken out of special measures following an inspection in April this year but has been told that improvements still need to be made.

A report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) states that the home, run by Lifeways Group, still has insufficient staffing levels.

Whitwood House currently has 12 residents and looks after people with learning disabilities, complex needs and brain injuries.

Whitwood House, in Castleford, was taken out of special measures following an inspection in April this year but has been told that improvements still need to be made.

It was described as ‘inadequate’ by the CQC following an inspection last year.

Inspectors said staff told them the venue was regularly understaffed and agency workers were “used frequently”.

After a follow-up inspection, the care home has been taken out of special measures and given a ‘requires improvement’ rating.

Read More

Read More
More GPs in Wakefield despite national workforce crisis warning

Michala Kerton, Lifeways’ regional quality manager, who helped to lead the improvements made to Whitwood House, said: “We are pleased to see Whitwood House move out of Special Measures.

“We are absolutely committed to delivering a high standard of support.”

Ms Kerton added: “We’ve upskilled support team members, making sure everyone has the opportunity to own the improvement process, boosted ongoing recruitment and retention of a consistent on-site management team.

“We’ve also put a particular focus on making Whitwood House a more homely, fun, and personalised place to live.

“This has included completing building and decorating work to better meet the needs and wishes of people we support.”

“We will continue to further boost quality at the service, to ensure it reaches and exceeds regulatory standards.”

The Lifeways Group supports adults with complex needs, including learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, brain injuries, and mental health conditions.

The company supports almost 5,000 individuals who live in 1,500 supported living and residential services across England, Scotland, and Wales.

Paul Brandreth, Whitwood House’s Registered Manager, said: “I am proud of the motivation, determination, and can-do attitude of my team at Whitwood House, who have worked tirelessly to make sure people we support have the quality of life that they so rightly deserve.”

“This past period of improving our service has not gone without challenges.

“However, we have all played a part in working as a team to ensure that necessary actions were implemented – with the safety, happiness and independence of the people we support first in our minds.”

“We are focused on a positive future, and on further improving our service.”

The latest CQC report states: ” At our last inspection we found the provider had failed to ensure sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced staff were deployed effectively to meet people’s needs.

“This was a breach of regulation 18 (Staffing) of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.

“Not enough improvement had been made at this inspection and the provider was still in breach of regulation 18. “