A HIGHLY critical care quality inspection report has seen a South Lakeland care home placed into special measures.

Heron Hill Care Home in Kendal was graded 'inadequate' following an unannounced inspection by Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors last December.


They found a number of breaches regarding the safety and effectiveness of the service including discovering that medicines were stored at the wrong temperature and that only 2.7 per cent of the staff had received first aid training.

Safety at the home on Esthwaite Avenue was rated as inadequate with the report highlighting medicines being kept in storage rooms where the temperature was above the maximum recommended by drug manufacturers.

Records kept at the home also showed that medicines that needed to be stored in refrigerators had not been kept at the right temperature and staff could not be certain whether the medication had been rendered less effective because of this.

The effectiveness of the service was also found 'inadequate' with the report pointing out that staff were not given all the training required so that they could fulfil their roles safely and consistently.

Responsiveness and leading of the care home was found to 'require improvement' and the report said care and management plans were not always being completed promptly by the staff.

The CQC said that the service was not being well led and there was no registered manager in post at the time of inspection.

However, the report praised the level of caring at the home as 'good' with the relatives of the 78 residents living at the home at the time, telling the inspectors they felt that the staff treated their family members with 'dignity and respect.'

The care home, run by Abbey Healthcare (Kendal) Ltd, provides accommodation and nursing care for up to 86 people; supporting adults with a physical disability, mental health needs, behavioural support, dementia and complex nursing needs.

Another inspection will be held in six months time and the CQC could cancel the home's registration if action is not taken to make improvement within a 'clear timeframe' outlined by the health watchdog group.

A spokesperson for the Heron Hill Care Home said: "We were extremely disappointed at the outcome of the inspection. Heron Hill Care Centre is committed to provide high quality care and the needs of our residents are paramount to us.

"Our last CQC report, which was published in February 2016, was at a good standard. The home was inspected in December 2016 with the report being finalised in late March 2017.

"Immediately, following the inspection, a detailed action plan has been sent to CQC.

"We are working closely with the local authority (Cumbria County Council) and the CQC to ensure all actions are met and our residents needs are met."