'Short-staffed' Castleford care home Whitwood House placed in special measures by Care Quality Commission

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A "short-staffed" care home where residents' rights are "restricted" has been placed in special measures.

Whitwood House in Castleford which looks after people with learning disabilities, complex needs and brain injuries, has been described as 'inadequate' by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

It is the seventh service in the Wakefield district to be given the lowest possible grade by the care watchdog.

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The Lifeways Group, which runs the home said it accepted the findings.

The home is located on Lumley Street in Castleford.The home is located on Lumley Street in Castleford.
The home is located on Lumley Street in Castleford.

Inspectors said staff told them the venue, which cared for 13 people at the time of their visit last month, was regularly understaffed and agency workers were "used frequently".

One-to-one support for residents was "not always provided" because of this, the CQC's report on the Lumley Street home said.

Inspectors added: "Staff said the use of agency staff had a negative impact on the quality of the service.

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"A member of staff commented, "Some of the agency staff don't know the people in the service, which causes a lot of behaviours as they don't understand the triggers."

The report also said that residents' rights under the Mental Capacity Act, "were not respected".

Inspectors wrote: "People at Whitwood House were subject to restrictions upon their rights.

"For example, due to complex relationships between people living at the home, resulting in altercations between people and damage to property, some people had restricted access to communal areas and garden areas.

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"One person told us they were afraid to use the lounge because of another person using the service."

Staff also offered "mixed" feedback about training and the support they received from the management team, according to the report.

The venue had been rated 'good' at its last CQC inspection in 2019, but now has six months to make rapid improvements.

Despite the criticisms made by the watchdog, inspectors praised the home's bosses for acting "appropriately in response to the concerns we found".

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In a statement, the Lifeways Group said: "We accept the findings of the CQC report, and we were already making improvements to the service before the report was published.

"We are absolutely committed to delivering a high standard of care at Whitwood House and we are working to a clear and timetabled plan to improve."

Local Democracy Reporting Service