Thursday 18 January 2018
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Care at three Devon homes branded 'outdated'

Care for adults with learning disabilities at three homes in Devon "cannot be allowed to continue" in its current form, a watchdog says.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said care at the homes, managed by the Atlas Project Team, was "outdated at best".

Unannounced inspections were carried out at Teignmead in Bishopsteignton and Gatooma and Santosa, in Holsworthy.

Atlas said it acknowledged the CQC had raised concerns and the homes were being sold.

'No immediate risk'

Criticism of the homes included people not being involved in drawing up their own care and support plans, the CQC said.

Relatives or advocates were not always properly involved in decisions about treatment or managing residents' behaviour, it added.

People's rights to privacy, dignity and independence were also not always respected, the watchdog said.

Mary Cridge, from the CQC in the South West, said the people involved had quite severe learning difficulties and needed support for day-to-day living.

She said: "We're certain that nobody was at any immediate risk.

"But, having said that, said families and carers do take an interest in care that's being delivered, and people need to realise that care could be better and different."

Last year, the Veilstone home in Bideford, also run by Atlas, closed after it was discovered some residents had been put in an unheated "quiet room" overnight and watched on CCTV.

'Immediate and decisive action'

Atlas said it had been supportive of the CQC in its unannounced inspections of the homes.

It said: "We acknowledge that the CQC has raised concerns about the standards of care in the homes and identified areas of practice that are not acceptable and that needs to be changed."

The Devon Multi-agency Safeguarding Group - which comprises of Devon County Council, NHS Devon, Devon Partnership Trust and Devon and Cornwall Constabulary - said it acted swiftly when allegations first came to light about the Veilstone home.

It added: "As soon as this alert was made, the safeguarding team took immediate and decisive action to ensure the safety and welfare of residents placed in care homes run by Atlas."