In May, two members of staff separately alerted us and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to concerns about unacceptable staff behaviour at our Mendip House service in Somerset. We immediately made sure our residents were safe, contacted other partners and appointed an independent investigator.
The resulting CQC inspection report, published this week, found Mendip House to be 'inadequate'. Given the depths of problems identified by the CQC and our own investigation, we have taken the difficult decision to close Mendip House and are working on this with the CQC and our other partners.
Rather than give the six residents and their families months of uncertainty while we try to turn the service around, we believe it is better for everyone's sake to close now.
We met face-to-face with families as soon as we could to explain what has happened and why we believe this is the best course of action. We're now doing everything we can to support the residents and their families to find good new homes and make the transition as smooth as possible.
Jane Harris, our Director
, said, “We aim to run the best possible residential services for autistic adults, where they are safe and can live a full life. We are very sorry that, as this report from the CQC shows, we have failed badly to live up to this at our Mendip House care home.
“It’s evident that the standards in Mendip House had been deteriorating for some time – and we should have picked this up sooner. When members of staff separately alerted us and the CQC to unacceptable staff behaviour in May, we immediately made sure our residents were safe, contacted other partners and appointed an independent investigator. We are now taking disciplinary action against local management and staff.
“While there is no evidence of anyone coming to physical harm, the CQC’s report shows that people were put at risk by some staff neglecting their duties. There was also a serious failure to follow the rigorous procedures – such as monitoring health plans and diet – that are necessary to ensure people with often-complex needs are kept safe and happy."
“Given the depth of the problems that the CQC and our own investigation have uncovered, we have taken the difficult decision to close Mendip House and are working on this with the CQC and our other partners.
“Rather than give residents and families months of uncertainty while we try to turn the service around, we have decided it is better for everyone's sake to close now. This means we can use the time to help find the best possible new homes for our residents and to establish transition plans. Autistic people can find change difficult and, by starting the process now, we can be sure that everyone is well prepared.
“Mendip House has been a home to six people and the priority for everyone involved with the closure process is to ensure they are found good new homes. We will do everything we can to support our residents’ families and their home local authorities and have already started meeting with families to make sure this happens.”