Luton’s Mulberry Court has damning CQC result months after council inquiry found that ‘abuse did occur’

A Luton residential care home has been slammed by the Care Quality Commission just months after a council inquiry found that “abuse did occur”.

Thursday, 14th March 2019, 11:00 am

Mulberry Court, of Watermead Road, has been given an overall rating of inadequate by the CQC after its latest inspection on January 23.

In all five areas - safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led - the home was marked as inadequate, with its scores having worsened since its last report in July, in which responsive was rated as requires improvement, and the other four categories were inadequate. It was placed into special measures, and now remains in this category.

The care home also hit the headlines in January when Luton resident Jessie Savage spoke out about a Luton Borough Council inquiry, which found that “abuse did occur” to her late husband and dementia sufferer, Ken Savage, during his stay at the home from February to March 2018.

Bruises to Ken's face. Taken by Jessie.

It made recommendations, for example, that the home should review its falls policy.

Ken had bruises to his face and arms and staff told her he had fallen out of bed. However, Jessie claimed: “He had never done that before.”

The latest CQC report, published on February 28 and commenting on the CQC’s visit in January, said: “People’s experience was poor living at Mulberry Court. There had been substantiated concerns from the local authority about neglect and acts of omission. The people who we spoke with did not speak very positively about the service.

“We had concerns that people were not always safe who were at risk of falls, those who were an unhealthy weight, and those who needed certain medicines. Staff did not always respond to safeguarding concerns in a safe way. People’s dignity and comfort was not always promoted.

Jessie's photo of Ken's bruises.

“Staff did not engage with people in way which demonstrated that they knew the people they were looking after.

“There were no activities or events taking place to help people enjoy life at the home. The home looked tired and uncared for. The management team and the provider had ineffective systems or no systems at all to test and ensure that people were safe, well cared for, and led meaningful lives at the home.”

A spokeswoman for Runwood Homes Ltd, said: “As an organisation we continue to work very hard with our multi-agency colleagues to ensure all areas highlighted are rapidly addressed.

“We are working through our improvement plan in partnership with our new management team and key agencies. The senior management team have met with residents and relatives of the service and have given clear assurances on the continued management and oversight of the service.

“We will endeavour to very quickly restore full confidence in our service with intense focus and long term monitoring to support best practice.”