Health watchdog orders home for adults with learning disabilities to improve


A facility which cares for adults with learning disabilities has been told it must make changes following an inspection.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out checks at The Woodhouse Independent Hospital, in Cheadle, after concerns were raised about services there.

They made two unannounced visits during October and have now published a report detailing their findings.

The report states: “We inspected the hospital because we received information of concern about the safety and quality of the services.

“We took account of the exceptional circumstances arising as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic when considering how we carried out this inspection.

“We carried out an unannounced responsive inspection and visited the location on October 8, 2020 during the night shift and again on October 14 during the day shift.”

Due to the concerns raised, inspectors focused their attention on whether the facility was safe and well-led. They found:

  • Staff did not always follow infection control policies and procedures and the units were not always clean;
  • The units did not always have enough nursing staff who knew the patients to keep them safe from avoidable harm;
  • Patients were not always able to have time outside of the unit to access fresh air and staff were not always able to take their break;
  • Staff told inspectors that they did not always feel valued, respected and supported and did not always feel able to raise concerns without fear of retribution;
  • There were not robust processes in place to provide assurances of the quality of care that patients receive.

However, inspectors found that staff followed good practice with respect to safeguarding and the service managed patient safety incidents well and recognised and reported incidents appropriately. They also noted that leaders had the knowledge and experience to perform their roles and had a good understanding of the services they managed.

The Woodhouse Hospital – which provides care for up to 39 patients under 65 years old who have learning disabilities or autism – still retains the overall CQC rating of ‘requires improvement’ that it received following its most recent full inspection, which took place in February 2020.

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Elysium Healthcare, which runs the facility, said a ‘rigorous’ action plan had been put in place to address the concerns raised by the CQC. A spokesman said: “The safety and well-being of our patients is always our highest priority and, as such, we take the findings of this CQC report very seriously.

“We have immediately implemented a change of senior leadership at the hospital and put in place a rigorous and comprehensive action plan to ensure we achieve all of the identified recommendations.

“This plan includes further enhanced Covid management measures, including the appointment of a full-time PPE administrator, the recruitment of new nursing staff and enhanced safety systems and reporting protocols. We will continue to work in close partnership with the CQC in the weeks and months ahead.”

The CQC report can be viewed here.





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