Inspectors publish report into Bexhill unit commissioned to alleviate pressure on hospitals

The owners of a Bexhill nursing home which was opened to alleviate the pressure on hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic have vowed to address areas highlighted for improvement by inspectors.

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 11:41 am
Bexhill Care Centre. Picture: Google Street View SUS-190314-160413001

Coast Care Homes were commissioned, through government funding, to operate Bexhill Care Centre, in Barnhorn Road, as a 43-bed ‘step down unit’ to assist the NHS, by freeing up hospital beds during the height of the health crisis.

Coast Care undertook a £125,000 refurbishment of the home – which was closed by previous owners in July, 2019 – and recruited 60 members of staff before opening the doors to admissions on April 20, 2020.

Up to September, the step down unit took in more than 100 admissions, not all Covid-19 related. However, owing to Coast Care Homes’ background in the different sector of residential dementia care, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) performed an interim support inspection in August this year.

On September 15, CQC published its report which raised concerns about people’s safety. Inspectors said ‘not all safeguarding issues had been investigated or recorded’, adding: “There was a lack of investigation by managers into the cause of accidents and incidents and few plans had been put in place to mitigate further accidents from occurring.”

Mike Lee, the support manager at Bexhill Care Centre, said Coast Care welcomed the guidance from the CQC, adding the ‘highlighted improvements from the latest report have been implemented by the team’. He said further service development has been planned, should Coast Care be commissioned for a further six month period.

Mr Lee added: “In the near future, when the CQC complete their full inspection of our service, we are fully expecting to receive at least five good ratings, if not outstanding, as this is the standard we have set at all our other services and the Bexhill Care Centre is no different in this respect.

“We have had numerous tributes from families who have been exceptionally grateful for the high level of care we have given their loved ones at the BCC along with a large number of service users wanting to stay with us for the long term.”

East Sussex County Council was tasked with finding a provider to run the step down unit after the government encouraged local health and social care organisation to commission additional bed capacity.

The county council said: “As with any care provider in the county, the safety of residents and the quality of care provided is paramount. Along with the CCG and East Sussex Healthcare Trust, we are working closely with Bexhill Care Centre to address the concerns raised.

“Local health and social care organisations were actively encouraged by central Government to commission additional bed capacity to alleviate pressure on acute hospital beds during the Covid-19 pandemic. The cost of the additional beds has been met from national Covid-19 emergency funding provided to support the NHS.”