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Your spotlight on local services

Healthwatch Redbridge raises concerns over patient safety after Meadow Court Nursing Home closure


In November last year, Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (RCCG) approved the withdrawal of funding for 48 beds at Meadow Court Nursing Home.

Healthwatch Redbridge (HWR) raised a number of concerns and challenged the proposals along with relatives and other local community organisations.

Although the CCG funded 48 beds; only 14 patients were occupying those beds at the time.

However, due to the withdrawal of CCG funding, the provider Care UK, has closed the home which meant another 9 patients lost their home.

This has meant the community has now lost 70 specialist nursing home beds in the area. We remain very concerned that there are not enough specialist beds locally for those that require them.

When the CCG reached their decision; the original equality impact assessments carried out indicated there would be little impact on moving frail elderly people who are profoundly confused – particularly in the winter months. We challenged this assessment as we felt it was inaccurate. We also stated we would continue to seek to engage with relatives and their loved ones so that we might follow their journeys and report on the impact these moves would have.

A number of recommendations were also agreed by the CCG to mitigate the impact of the proposals, these included a commitment to the early and ongoing engagement of carers, patients and families; and frequent and ongoing quality surveillance visits to enable monitoring of the quality of care before, during and after transfer.  It also included providing a mechanism to identify areas of concern quickly.

We recently contacted the Quality Surveillance Group and CCG to ask them about the support offered to families and whether any QSG visits had taken place. They have now confirmed the last visit to Meadow Court took place in January 2017; almost 11 months prior to the move. They confirmed that care assessments had been carried out with all residents prior to the move.

Our Chief Executive Officer, Cathy Turland will be raising our concerns through the QSG group at its next meeting and we have raised a Freedom of Information request to ask further questions.

We’ve now heard from a relative of a patient that moved from Meadow Court at Christmas. They had a stressful move and had problems settling in to their new home. This led to dramatic weight loss, confusion and lack of appetite. The patient was admitted to hospital recently with a viral infection and died shortly afterwards.

We are protecting their anonymity at this time until the family have had the opportunity to reflect on their next course of action.

We were previously made aware of a number of incidents where people had been moved from Meadow Court before the proposed closure had been confirmed. It is concerning that there had been two previous deaths following these moves.

It is difficult for us to assess whether patients have been supported appropriately without being given access to the evidence that would allow us to review and assess whether suitable alternative homes are meeting their care needs.

Our CEO and Chair recently attended the Redbridge Health Scrutiny Committee (RHSC) on Wednesday 31 January 2018 to highlight our concerns and to ask for their support in establishing further information regarding to the condition of transferred patients since the home closed. We would like to see this information include details of all patients who were moved and not just CCG funded patients.

We have requested an urgent meeting with the CCG to discuss our concerns and to support us in contacting relatives to seek assurances that the moves have been carried out in a sensitive and supportive manner.

Cathy Turland, Healthwatch Redbridge CEO said:
‘We have a number of major concerns about the impact this move has had on very frail and elderly people. Our goal is to ensure people have had the right support. If they are happy, then we will be happy.’

For and on behalf of Healthwatch Redbridge