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Attleborough care home The Laurels on the up after previous inadequate inspection report

PUBLISHED: 13:27 24 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:24 24 October 2017

The Laurels Care Home in Attlebrough are improving their reputation. Some of the team.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017

The Laurels Care Home in Attlebrough are improving their reputation. Some of the team. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Archant 2017

A care home which had been plunged into special measures has made a raft of improvements to bump their rating up a notch.

The Laurels Care Home in Attlebrough are improving their reputation. Residents take part in activities.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017The Laurels Care Home in Attlebrough are improving their reputation. Residents take part in activities. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

The Laurels, in Attleborough, was first put into special measures by regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in September 2016 and it retained that rating in a report released in March this year.

But a change in management and a focus on retaining good staff has seen the home lifted out of special measures and rated ‘requires improvement’.

Manager Frances Pugh was brought in to turn things around and owner Ian Gooderham heaped praise on Mrs Pugh for her work.

He said: “Partly the problem was we did not have enough experience, but Frances has brilliant experience and the staff are superb now.”

However, the real testament to the hard work came from the residents.

Monica Drew, 83, came into the home when her husband died and said initially she did not want to be there. But now, she added: “They take very good care of me, I have my off days like everyone, but I like it here.”

Rosina Lodge, 92, was staying at The Laurels for a short time whilst her husband had an operation. Mrs Lodge, who ran a dance studio in London and taught Len Goodman his moves, said she was initially cautious about going into the home but when Mrs Pugh went to visit her, she was reassured.

“She was so nice,” she said. “And they’ve looked after me fantastically. It’s lovely here - but obviously you do prefer to be at home - but this is the next best place. You couldn’t wish for better, they want to please you.”

The Laurels Care Home in Attlebrough are improving their reputation. Residents take part in activities.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017The Laurels Care Home in Attlebrough are improving their reputation. Residents take part in activities. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Mr Gooderham said they had received help from mental health teams and someone with knowledge of CQC inspections. He added: “We’re not 100pc, but no home is.”

In the CQC report, inspectors said: “The registered manager was open with us and explained they and the staff team had worked hard to improve the quality of care people received.

“They told us they felt further improvements were needed but were happy with the progress that had been made.

“They said they were looking to make further improvements to the environment and to open a dementia café in the home next year to strengthen links with the local community.”

The Laurels Care Home in Attlebrough are improving their reputation. Manager Frances Pugh chats with resident Monica Drew.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017The Laurels Care Home in Attlebrough are improving their reputation. Manager Frances Pugh chats with resident Monica Drew. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Although improvements had been made, both management and the CQC recognised there was still work to do.

Staff were “kind, caring and treated people with dignity and respect” and “had access to activities that supported their own hobbies and interests” which “improved their wellbeing”. People were listened to and concerns were investigated.

But inspectors also found people were placed at risk of harm - some items such as thickening agents and creams which should have been put away were not. And exposed piping in two communal toilets posed a risk, as one could reach temperatures of 55c.

When concerns were reported to Mrs Pugh on the first day, inspectors said by the next day many had been fixed.

The Laurels Care Home in Attlebrough are improving their reputation.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017The Laurels Care Home in Attlebrough are improving their reputation. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Inspectors also found some mattresses looked clean, but smelt of urine, and some equipment was unclean. When alerted to this, immediate action was taken.

• See how other care homes in Norfolk and Waveney are rated in our interactive map.

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