Nurses barred at care home

FIVE nurses have been suspended from a nursing home in Halifax.

The Courier has learned the suspensions have taken place following a review into care at Heath Bank Nursing Home last month.

New admissions to the home have now been temporarily suspended by Calderdale Council and NHS Calderdale in light of the news.

A spokesman for the Care Quality Commission, which regulates care homes, said inspectors carried out a review in response to concerns about care at the home.

He said: "In December, the Care Quality Commission carried out a responsive review at Heath Bank Nursing Home in Halifax.

"We asked the home's owner, Phillip Bennet, to make improvements to comply with essential standards and ensure the welfare and safety of residents.

"The commission is now satisfied that the home has taken appropriate action but it will continue to carefully monitor services provided by the home.

"We are also aware that five nurses from the home have been suspended following the review." It is unclear why the nurses have been suspended.

Owner Philip Bennet told the Courier he could not discuss the details.

A joint statement from Calderdale Council and NHS Calderdale said: "We are aware that Heath Bank Nursing Home has suspended five members of staff.

"As a result of this, and associated concerns, admissions to the home have been temporarily suspended. Both agencies have taken robust and decisive action to raise standards of care, eliminate risk and ensure the safety and well-being of all residents."

The home was the subject of controversy after an inspection in December 2009 gave the home a zero-star rating and new admissions were temporarily suspended.

Heath Bank was inspected again in June last year and rated "good". The home provides 24-hour nursing care for up to 57 people including those with dementia.

In December 2009, the fees for living at the home were between 565 and 600 per week.

Building work on an extention to the care home is currently under way.

The news of the suspensions comes about a week after Calderdale Council confirmed it was temporarily suspending sending patients to two care homes which failed to meet standards – Lands House, at New Hey Road, Rastrick, and Woodfield Grange, Saddleworth Road, Greetland. That decision was due to be reivewed today (Thursday).

On January 31, the council's cabinet is due to consider recommendations made in a final report into the state of homes for the elderly. It follows an inquiry by the health and social care panel which began in March 2009 partly in response to a catalogue of complaints and failings highlighted by the Courier in the paper's Stop the Abuse campaign.