I received the following press release from Walsall Council yesterday. The old Vicarage has, for some time, been a Nursing Home for people suffering mental health issues. I’m sure readers were as concerned as I was when news surfaced recently of the poor inspection report the facility received, and removing the residents can only be a good thing.
This whole incident should, however, be an indicator of the future. With more and more cuts to these services, and a council cutting costs, this kind of situation is far more likely as all involved are racing to the bottom in an effort to slash budgets.
Walsall Council PR 8349 10/10/2012 [For Immediate Release]
Contract terminated at borough nursing home
Concerns over the quality and standard of care being provided at a borough nursing home have prompted Walsall Council to terminate its contract with the provider.
Health and social care colleagues have been working for some time to address the issues at Chase Nursing Home in Vicarage Road, Brownhills.
They are currently working with its residents, who have enduring mental health problems, and their families to find alternative services for them, and new homes where appropriate.
Walsall Council’s Quality Assurance Team carried out a visit at the home earlier this year and raised concerns and inspectors from the Care Quality Commission warned the provider, Heritage Healthcare (Midlands) Ltd, that it needed to do more to protect residents’ safety and welfare.
Inspectors said the home needed to make improvements in relation to the care and welfare of people who use services, consent to care and treatment and the management of medicines.
Walsall Council, NHS Walsall, Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Trust and Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have a duty to ensure the standards and quality of services provided by the home.
Walsall Council terminated its contract with the provider on Monday 8 October 2012.
Councillor Barbara McCracken, Walsall Council Coalition portfolio holder for social care and health, said: “The health, safety, and well being of the home’s residents is our number one priority.
“We appreciate this is a difficult time for all of those people, and their families, but the serious nature of the concerns meant that doing nothing was not an option.
“We are focusing on planning the best long term arrangements for the 13 residents that are funded by the council and the mental health trust and are talking to them and their families to move forward in their best interests.
“While this is understandably upsetting for all concerned, it does highlight the important role that the council’s Quality Assurance Team plays in making sure we maintain standards in our care homes, in partnership with professionals, service users and their families.”