The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has taken firm action to protect the safety and welfare of residents at the Griffin Care Centre, Luton.
Following a series of visits to the Griffin Care Centre, CQC inspectors told the home’s management, Southern Cross (LSC) Limited, they judged people living in the home to be at risk. As a result, CQC said it would take urgent action to protect residents. In response, Southern Cross accepted the Griffin had faced significant challenges in delivering the consistently high level of care it aimed to provide and agreed to close the home.
If Southern Cross (LSC) Limited had not closed the home, CQC would have taken legal action to stop it providing regulated activities from the Griffin Care Centre – effectively stopping it using the Griffin Care Centre as a residential care home.
CQC has worked closely with Luton Borough Council and NHS Luton to make sure the 57 people living there are found suitable alternative accommodation. People began to move out on 12 January and all people had left the home by the afternoon of 16 January
CQC inspectors had highlighted a number of serious concerns. The most recent visits by inspectors were on Sunday 9 and Monday 10 January. Despite having been given assurances that failings were being addressed, inspectors found that risks in relation to medication had not been dealt with and there remained gaps, omissions and failings in the way medicines were managed.
Frances Carey, CQC Regional Director said: ‘In our view, some elements of the failings we found were leaving people at continued risk. For example the CQC pharmacy inspector identified that two medications were being given together, which was not in line with the details on the administration sheet and the medication label. This was raised with the provider, who was asked to ensure that this practice stopped.
‘It is a significant concern that during a visit to the home on the morning of 10 January 2011 that CQC had to take direct action to prevent trained staff from administrating these medications at the same time.’
CQC had previously taken action to restrict admissions to the home and asked for a series of actions to be taken to ensure that the home complied with essential standards of quality and safety. These relate to significant failings across a number of areas of care provision.
Throughout the process CQC, Luton Borough Council and NHS Luton have been working closely together to protect the safety and welfare of residents. The council has already reviewed all people living in the home and have talked with all relatives about current concerns. People living in the home and their relatives have previously been offered the option of moving to another home.
Taking action that leads to the closure of a residential care home is a last resort for the regulator. Whenever possible, CQC’s work is aimed at ensuring providers make any improvements necessary to comply with essential standards of quality and safety.
CQC only takes steps that will lead to closure when it considers there are risks to the safety of service users. Relocation is a stressful activity for people at any point in life, and more so for older people.