Watchdog’s damning verdict on Rustington care home

Darlington Court in Rustington
Darlington Court in Rustington

INSPECTORS have criticised a failing Rustington care home, saying the service it provided to residents ‘fell well below’ expectations.

An evaluation by independent health regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), found the Darlington Court care home, in The Leas, had failed to meet four out of the five key areas assessed by the watchdog.

An inspection in June showed the home needed to take ‘immediate action’ when it came to staffing, record-keeping, welfare and respect of residents.

However, Care UK, the organisation which runs Darlington Court, argued the CQC questioned only a small sample group of people – just five residents, in total – during its visit.

Sarah O’Mara, Care UK’s regional director for Sussex, said the evaluation was unfair and not representative of the high level of service provided by the home.

She said: “This inspection focused on views from just five residents, all of whom were staying in the home on a short-term basis to receive rehabilitation after hospital stays.

“Many of the concerns raised relate to rehabilitation services such as physiotherapy, which are prescribed and provided by people employed through the local NHS, not solely by colleagues at Darlington Court, so we have only a limited ability to influence those aspects of people’s stay with us.

“The number of care home nurses and carers on duty at one time is determined by the level of support the current residents require.”

The CQC report noted ‘significant gaps’ had been discovered in care records.

“There was no evidence that care plans had been designed to meet individual needs. This meant that people’s care needs were not being managed safely by the service,” the inspector wrote.

The report also highlighted the need for more care to be taken when respecting residents’ dignity.

It said: “People’s privacy, dignity and independence have not been respected. People’s views and experiences were not taken into account in the way the service was provided and delivered in relation to their care.”

For the full report, see this week’s Littlehampton Gazette (Thursday, September 5).