'I’m scared to be here, I don’t feel safe': Tipton care home rated ‘inadequate’

A Black Country care home has been blasted as ‘inadequate’ after health inspectors found people being physically restrained without sufficient care plans – and including a lack of awareness in safeguarding children.

Vestige Healthcare (Dudley Port) Johns Lane, in Tipton. Photo: Google Street View
Vestige Healthcare (Dudley Port) Johns Lane, in Tipton. Photo: Google Street View

The Care Quality Commission’s damning findings came after an inspection of Vestige Healthcare (Dudley Port) which found the lack of safeguarding procedures left youngsters as young as 16 at risk.

People were also being physically restricted without the correct legal authorisation, a scathing report revealed.

The report into the residential home, which accommodates both children and adults suffering from learning disabilities and mental health problems, rated it inadequate in five key areas including safety.

In their findings, inspectors said: “People did not feel safe. People were being physically restrained without sufficient care plans and risk assessments.

“People were at risk of harming themselves and there was no risk mitigation to prevent this happening. The environment was unsafe. Medicines were not managed safely. There was a lack of awareness of safeguarding children.

“There were poor infection control practices in relation to Covid-19.”

Regarding the lack of safeguarding awareness for children the report said there could be a risk of potential inappropriate relationships or abuse, adding: “Children living in the home were particularly susceptible to both virtual and physical grooming due to their vulnerabilities.

“There was a lack of consideration given to the risks of child sexual exploitation and child criminal exploitation, there were no risk assessments for these areas.

“This meant the risks associated with exploitation were not fully assessed, understood or responded to placing children at risk of abuse.”

In response the home told inspectors they were hoping to seek alternative placements for some people while other residents had undergone assessment for new accommodation.

The inadequate rating comes after an earlier inspection in July last year also highlighted safety and care concerns at the home on Johns Lane, Tipton which can house up to 16 people.

During a follow up visit in November, residents and staff told CQC officers: “I’m scared to be here, I don’t want to be here, I don’t feel safe.”

A staff member said: “I don’t feel safe or compliant working here.”

The commission has warned the home must improve within six months to avoid enforcement action which could include closure.

Vestige Healthcare (Dudley Port) has been contacted for comment.

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