Apologies after staffing crisis at Bury St Edmunds care home leaves families distressed

Davers Court
Davers Court
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A staffing crisis at Davers Court care home in Bury St Edmunds left families distressed at the weekend.

The care home which currently has 34 residents is run by Care UK but at the weekend a sickness bug left it depleted of staff.

The newly built home in Shakers Lane which opened last August has also received a Care Quality Commission report which states it requires improvement.

While care and leadership is said to be good the safety, effectiveness and responsiveness of the service is said to need improvement. Questions were also raised over administration of medicines.

The wife and carer for one elderly man who has Parkinson’s Disease was upset to find he had not received his medication and found him in a distressed state during a short respite stay.

She has complained to Care UK after she says she found only one permanent member of staff at the home on Sunday.

She said: “It is vital that people with Parkinsons have their drugs regularly. Care UK have apologised to us I have to say I have learned a tremendous lesson and hope I never have to put my husband into care.”

This week Suffolk County Council was monitoring the situation.

Cllr Beccy Hopfensperger, county cabinet member for adult care, said: “This was an unfortunate and distressing situation for families and relatives to face at any time.

“Suffolk County Council went in straight away to assess the issue and monitor the situation and are working very hard with Davers Court looking at the issues that have been raised.”

The county is continuing to place people with the care home and has recently lifted its ban on placements with Care UK’s Mildenhall Lodge which had been heavily criticised. Cllr Hopfensperger added that she wanted to see all care homes in the county rated as good or outstanding. “This is nothing less than our residents deserve.”

Cllr Trevor Beckwith, county councillor for Eastgate ward, said: “There has got to be contingency plans.

“We have come from when it was a brilliant care home and while you can have the best building the care is far more important than the building .

Care UK said said it apologised to residents and families for the situation which had arisen after a number of staff phoned in sick on the Sunday morning.

“While this did have an impact on how quickly we were able to bring in additional people to support residents we would like to highlight that at no point was the safety of residents compromised.”

Regarding the CQC report the spokesman said that positive observations had included correct staffing levels and that staff were both ‘caring and committed’ Food and nutritional support were of good quality and the transition to the new home had been planned and managed.

In areas of concern a clear action plan had been put in place.