Whistleblowers blast 'failings' at care home near Mansfield which is set to close

Whistleblowers who have worked at a care home near Mansfield which is set to close have hit out at the way it has been run.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 2:09 pm
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 1:55 pm
Barley View Care Home, Bilsthorpe

Two people, who wished to remain anonymous, have contacted your Chad after we published a story about the closure of the Lifeways site in Bilsthorpe.

Lifeways said the home is closing because it is “not compatible” with the way it wants to provide care, saying it is moving to a “community-based” care setting.

But two whistleblowers have claimed that it is closing after complaints led to investigations from the CQC and Nottinghamshire County Council, which they say uncovered “numerous failings” at the site.

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One said: "In recent months, complaints from staff sent to agencies resulted in investigations taking place, ultimately uncovering numerous failings by the company.”

"Incident forms and complaints would mysteriously disappear, safeguarding would not get passed on to the authorities."

Another whistleblower raised similar concerns and also said complaints were “swept under the carpet”.

They said: “Staff felt let down and saw the only solution to ‘whistleblow’ with CQC, leading into a thorough investigation by them and local authorities.

“I am sure that staff whistleblowing had implications leading to the decision to close it down.”

But bosses at Lifeways deny the whistle-blowers’ claims, and say all concerns were “properly investigated”.

A spokesman said: “Any issues raised by staff have been properly investigated and dealt with by Lifeways.

“If staff have current concerns then we would urge them to raise these with our local managers, or use our own whistleblowing procedures.

“We are pleased that a large number of the team at Bilsthorpe have chosen to remain with Lifeways.”

Paul Johnson, service director at Nottinghamshire County Council, confirmed that the authority has been made aware of issues at the home.

He said: “We have been aware of issues around the quality of service at the Bilsthorpe homes run by Lifeways since early 2018.

“We have been regularly monitoring the service and providing intensive support to help the provider make the required improvements in conjunction with the Care Quality Commission.

“Unfortunately, the provider has not maintained the improvements required and they have now taken the decision to close the service.

“We have been working to find alternative placements for the 13 residents we fund and are liaising closely with the residents and their relatives to support them during this time.”