Reflections on Mimosa Healthcare Ltd and connected matters

The CQC recently introduced a new system of monitoring the quality of care provided in residential care homes, relying more on paper-based self-assessments by the care providers, and also relying heavily on whistleblowers to alert the CQC of the need for its involvement, all with the hope that the CQC will inspect and act promptly to deal with suspected neglect or slipping standards.

26 November 2010 – This is Bristol article: The owners of Sunnymead Manor, Southmead, Bristol a ‘care’ home where vulnerable residents were left to fend for themselves in dirty and unhealthy conditions have been warned they face prosecution unless they take immediate steps to improve the situation.

Mimosa Healthcare, whose slogan is Where People Matter, has been given seven days to draw up an action plan and has agreed not to take on any more patients until a string of problems are dealt with.

Sunnymead, which specialises in looking after people with dementia and “high care needs”, has been in trouble with the authorities in the past but appeared to have cleaned up its act last year.

Mimosa has since apologised to residents and their relatives and has promised to clean up its act.

So that’s more than once that Mimosa Healthcare Ltd has promised to clean up its act.  It hasn’t managed to do so for yet in spite of new management being in situ.

CQC’s Review of Compliance – published today.

May 2006 : CSCI inspected Sunnymead Manor ‘care’ home in May 2006 (the first inspection under the ownership of Mimosa Healthcare Ltd): Cost ~£456 – £508 per week plus additional charges.  All 5 requirements (under the previous owner) were seen to have been complied with.  However, 9 statutory requirements were made, plus 5 recommendations.

The company are clearly striving to improve standards; however the significant shortfalls in two main areas must be addressed as a matter of urgency to ensure that residents get the care they need and new staff are equipped with the skills they need to meet those needs.
A number of requirements have been issued in respect of: –
• Pre-admission assessment processes
• Assessment and Care Planning processes
• Identification and meeting changing care needs
• Meeting care needs in a respectful and dignified manner
• Effective communication between staff and residents
• Induction programme for all new staff
• Staff training records be kept for all staff
• Home Manager must make application to register
• Safe working practices must be followed in respect of moving and handling of residents and in infection control procedures.

They are serious failings in care, already highlighted in 2006.

June 2007 : CSCI inspected Sunnymead Manor in June 2007:  8 statutory requirements were made, plus 4 recommendations.  Cost £471- £600 per week plus additional charges.  “…. the home must always ensure that residents do not come to any harm, and get the help they need” – so the Regulator was aware then that staff were not ensuring that residents did not come to harm, and that residents were not getting the help they needed.

A stable staff team and improvements in the induction process for new staff and ongoing training, will benefit residents by ensuring they are looked after by staff who are better trained.”  That speaks for itself – the Regulator was aware of staff and training inadequacies resulting in sub-standard care to residents.

April 2008 : CSCI inspected Sunnymead Manor ‘care’ home in April 2008:  3 statutory requirements are made, no recommendations.  CSCI rating 2 star = “good”; Cost £498- £560 per week plus additional charges . “The care plan reviewing process is satisfactory in the nursing unit however needs to be more effective in the dementia care unit.”

November & December 2008 : CSCI inspected Sunnymead Manor ‘care’ home in November 2008 (2-star rating = good) and again in December 2008 (zero star rating = poor) after concerns were raised about the quality of care.

In November 2008 there were still 3 outstanding statutory requirements from the previous inspection; a further 4 immediate requirements following the November inspection; a further 4 statutory requirements following the November inspection; plus 1 recommendation.

In December 2008 (zero star rating = poor) there are now 5 outstanding statutory requirements; a further 18 statutory requirements from the December 2008 inspection; plus 4 recommendations.  “The Registered Person must ensure that the home is conducted so as to promote and make proper provision for the health and welfare of people who live at the home. “ When you read that  December 2008 inspection report in full, it is clear that December 2008 was the point at which CSCI should have heard enormously loud alarm bells ringing.

And yet, a mere 5 months later, all is apparently well and seen to be well by CSCI.

May 2009 : CSCI inspected Sunnymead Manor ‘care’ home on 6 May 2009; all 18 requirements and 4 recommendations were seen to have been met; following this inspection there is one statutory requirement made (concerning residents’ valuables) plus 2 recommendations (concerning the placement of non-flattering photographs of residents, and the use of the term ‘wandering’ in records giving a negative image of individuals).    CSCI rating:  two-star – “good”.  Cost: £498 – £560 per week plus additional charges.

The CQC dates are as confused and as confusing as some of CQC’s inspectors.

Step back to April 2009 and a Nurse from Sunnymead Manor – who was suspended from the care home in August 2006 – is before the NMC:  The work of Nonhlanhla Nkomo at a Bristol care home showed severe shortcomings, a hearing of the Nursing and Midwifery Council in London heard.

The 52-year-old allegedly left an elderly man at the Sunnymead Manor care home with a “hugely swollen” face by not treating a tooth infection.

She also did not know another patient was a diabetic, it was claimed. The hearing continues.

Ms Nkomo, known as Ivy, was suspended from the care home in the Southmead area of Bristol in August 2006.

Ms Nkomo, who began working at the home as a registered nurse in April 2006, is also accused of failing to record whether she had administered medication to a further eight patients.

February 2009

Kingsmead Lodge, Shirehampton, Bristol –  Mimosa Healthcare

A care worker who allegedly witnessed abuse at a Bristol care home has been suspended.

The 18-year-old is one of five care workers who have given statements about incidents at Kingsmead Lodge in Shirehampton at which are being investigated by police, social services and watchdog organisation, the Commission for Social Care Inspection.

None of the care workers allegedly involved in abuse has been suspended.

But the teenager, who looked after dementia patients at the nursing home, has been suspended on full pay after speaking out.

The care worker said she had not been given adult protection or whistle-blowing training.

And the CQC is about to rely on whistleblowers????

December 2009 : Honeymead ‘care’ home and Bishopsmead Lodge ‘care’ home – Mimosa Healthcare Ltd

New evidence of failings by a major care home provider in Bristol has been uncovered by a BBC investigation. The findings come after concerns were raised about Mimosa’s other two Bristol homes, Kingsmead Lodge and Sunnymead Manor, earlier this year.

November 2010 and Mimosa Healthcare Ltd still has the effrontery to boast on its website with the following words: Where People Matter; We know all about caring – and so do the people who live with us; Mimosa is passionate about Dignity in Care; Experience a very special place where people matter.

I beg to differ, Mimosa Healthcare Ltd.  It does not appear to me that you care enough about the standard of care in some of your care homes.

Has the time has come for the Advertising Standards Authority to find a way to regulate the misleading content of marketing messages on companies’ own websites?  The ASA does not currently have any remit over marketing messages on companies’ own websites.  Trading Standards don’t care either, nor does the CQC.

In fact the CQC inspection reports could do with regulating too.  That is where most people looking for decent care for their relative, or even for themselves, turn to first of all – the CQC website.  But it is all fudge.  We are becoming an internet-governed world.  We are being encouraged to rely on internet connections for numerous sources of information.

If the CQC really cared it would have found a way by now to put maximum pressure on care providers to provide care rather than neglect.

If our governments really cared they too would have found a way.

Mimosa Healthcare is not alone – read up on Compassion in Care’s analysis of care.  Read a few of the inspection reports that Compassion in Care has put under the microscope.

My heart goes out to every single resident of every single Mimosa Healthcare ‘care’ home.  How many of you have been neglected when you should have been cared for?  

You all deserve better care.


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2 Comments

Filed under abuse, care, care homes, dementia care, neglect

2 responses to “Reflections on Mimosa Healthcare Ltd and connected matters

  1. Thanks for highlighting the serious failings of the CQC regulatory systems which are leaving so many vulnerable adults exposed to abuse and neglect.

    I do not believe that the new CQC system of monitoring the quality of care provided in residential care homes will provide the safeguarding and protection required. I was shocked to discover that a home could remove all information about their previous inspections by changing ownership and reregistering with the CQC.

    That is why I am now advocating the development of an “amazon style” ratings sytem for all care providers.

    http://shirleyayresconsulting.co.uk/social-work-connections/do-we-need-an-amazon-style-rating-system-for-care-homes-part-one

    I would welcome your thoughts.

    • careintheuk

      Shirley, Thank you for your comment.

      I agree with you – we certainly need ‘something’ other than the weak and feeble system of regulation that we have at present. I’ve always felt that we need the equivalent of Trading Standards – but that would probably overwhelm Trading Standards!

      I also think the proposed system of care provider self-assessment is a non-starter; it will not work, as anyone who has experienced ‘untruth-telling care home managers’ will know. And unless and until our government provides guarantees – rather than the lip-service paid at present for convenient political point-scoring – there will continue to be more examples of shocking neglect and abuse of people in care.

      Perhaps every single care home should have a ‘Committee’ comprising residents, relatives and friends. Their comments, suggestions and criticisms should carry weight and it should be obligatory for the ‘care home provider’ to take account of them. They would meet monthly – or more often, if concerns arise. They chair the meetings, the care home management are invited to listen. And that’s the important thing for me: THEY SHOULD LISTEN TO THE RESIDENTS AND RELATIVES. The CQC inspection reports have all been of a tick-the-box mentality, rather than serious scrutiny. Praise where praise is due; criticise where criticism is due. But don’t waste lives by these meaningless reports.

      We must continue to do all we can to highlight the problem, wherever and whenever we get the opportunity to do so. I have every intention of doing so. I only wish these ‘investigations’ did not take so long, and I wonder how many vulnerable care home residents are meanwhile going to continue to suffer sub-standard care, also known as neglect and abuse.

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