Care centre criticised as needing ‘improvement’

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A care centre on the edge of Horsham that looks after disabled young adults has been criticised by health watchdogs.

Rapkyns Care Centre in Guildford Road, Broadbridge Heath, has been told it ‘requires improvement’ following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

But this week the care centre said that it was ‘surprised and disappointed’ at the rating and has asked the commission to review its findings.

Inspectors from the commission made an unannounced inspection of Rapkyns, which looks after adults with learning and physical disabilities, in April. The centre provides accommodation in four lodges on one site and also has communal areas for residents.

In a report from the commission just published, it was found that the centre needed improvement in safety, effectiveness, care and leadership, despite people describing staff as kind and caring who treated those in their care with dignity and respect.

However, the report pinpointed some instances which they said had fallen short of what was required. On one occasion correct procedures were not followed when an allegation of abuse was made. The centre manager said she had investigated but found no basis for the claim.

On their visit, inspectors found that video screens were propped on a handrail in a corridor near a nurses’ station which ‘did not protect people’s privacy or dignity.’

At mealtimes, the inspectors said, some staff acted in an uncaring way by helping to feed people in complete silence.

However, they said that people enjoyed good relationships with staff, were offered a wide range of activities, consulted on meals which were balanced and healthy, were supported to keep in contact with their families and were encouraged to have regular health checks.

A spokesperson for Rapkyns Care Centre said: “We are very surprised and disappointed by the rating that the CQC has given in this report.

“The report acknowledges that residents describe staff as kind and understanding, they feel they are treated with dignity and respect, and they enjoy good relationships with the staff who support them. The report also confirms that residents’ care and support needs are appropriately identified and managed.

“We sincerely believe the report’s rating does not accurately reflect the quality of care provided, and we have asked them to review that rating.

“The care centre is based beside two sister services – Rapkyns Care Home and The Laurels – both of which have ‘Good’ CQC ratings, and we believe it merits a ‘Good’ rating too.

“The health and wellbeing of the people we support is our top priority. At the same time as requesting the CQC review their rating, we have also implemented an action plan to ensure each resident benefits from the best care and support.

“We look forward to working in partnership with the CQC to ensure the Centre receives a more positive report in the near future.”