Condemned Leeds care home was ‘lucky to avoid being closed’ by regulator

Donisthorpe Hall in Moortown.
Donisthorpe Hall in Moortown.
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A failing care home that has been deemed ‘inadequate’ twice in six months was lucky to avoid being shut down, a Leeds councillor has claimed.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reported that Donisthorpe Hall, in Moortown, was still in breach of half a dozen health care regulations in May after highlighting serious concerns in November.

They have been very fortunate to have been given another period to try and get things right.

Coun Judith Chapman (Lib Dem, Weetwood).

The health watchdog, which has the power to shut down persistently failing homes, found instances where an epileptic resident had not been given medicine to stop seizures, one resident was bathed only five times in three months and staff were “over stretched”.

Speaking at a meeting of Leeds City Council’s health scrutiny board, Coun Judith Chapman (Lib Dem, Weetwood) said things are improving but she feels the home only avoided sanctions because it enlisted support from BAM Healthcare.

“If the CQC come in again and they [Donisthorpe] are found inadequate they will be closed,” she said. “Really, they have been very fortunate to have been given another period to try and get things right.”

Mark Phillott, commissioning manager at the council, said Donisthorpe had been well known for its high quality care until a recent turnover of staff.

He added: “It’s a good example of how a home can turn around very, very quickly.”

The council and NHS suspended their own new referrals or admissions to Donisthorpe following the first inadequate rating, while the facility is not believed to be taking on new private residents until its CQC rating improves.

The facility, which caters to up to 189 residents, was deemed to have made “significant progress” by council chiefs who met with a BAM consultant and the home manager on June 14.

The recruitment of new care managers was noted as well as BAM ensuring that the home is now fully staffed, and training and supervision is underway.