CQC takes action to protect residents of Highnam Hall in Hartlepool


CQCThe Care Quality Commission (CQC) has taken urgent action to prevent a Hartlepool care home from operating to ensure the safety and welfare of residents. CQC’s decision means that the provider, Mr Matt Matharu cannot provide care services at Highnam Hall in Hartlepool until improvements are made to ensure the premises are safe and that people living at the home are not at risk.

This action follows a CQC inspection in October when inspectors identified continued concerns regarding the safety of the premises and quality of care at Highnam Hall in Hartlepool.

When inspectors visited the home in October they identified a number of serious concerns regarding electrical safety and found that there were inadequate systems in place for the safe evacuation of people in the event of a fire.

During the inspection a fire alarm was activated, however staff failed to respond with any sense of urgency. Fire precautions failed as fire doors were compromised and escape routes were locked.

Inspectors found that care plans lacked detail and failed to provide staff with sufficient information in order to ensure that people’s individual care needs could be met. The home had no strategies in place to support people who were living with dementia and may present with challenging behaviour.

Where staff observed changes in people’s health, they did not always refer people for advice or support from external health care professionals such as doctors and district nurses, and people were not being treated with dignity and respect by staff.

There were no systems in place to assess and monitor the quality of care people received and inspectors found evidence of several incidents that had been referred to, or investigated by, the local authority safeguarding team, but had not been reported to CQC.

Overall, Highnam Hall has been rated as Inadequate and placed into special measures

A full report detailing the findings of the inspection has been published at: http://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-204529617

Since the inspection in October, all the people who had been living in Highnam Hall have moved to alternative accommodation and the home is currently empty.

Debbie Westhead, Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at CQC, said:

“Following the serious safety risks identified on our inspection we have taken urgent action to prevent services at Highnam Hall from continuing until work to make the premises safe is concluded.

“Our priority is always to ensure the safety and welfare of people receiving services at all times and it is unacceptable that Mr Matharu had not taken proper steps to ensure residents safety or to provide people living at the home with care that meets their needs.

“When we are faced with a residential or nursing home failing their residents, our first instinct is to make sure the service improves. But there are times when we have no confidence that the service will improve. When this happens, we must take action to protect people.

“Since these concerns were first raised, we have been working closely Hartlepool Borough Council who has overseen the safe relocation of residents to alternative homes whilst the required improvements are made.

“We have placed this service into special measures and will continue to monitor the situation closely to check that the necessary improvements are made. We are also currently dealing with the other breaches in relation to this provider and will report when action is completed” ​




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