Alton Centre – a further update

I do feel obliged to update on the Alton Centre run by Active Care – a subsidiary of Southern Cross – just as I have been following the story. Active Care won their appeal against closure yesterday and it is reported in the local Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph.

It reports

On Friday the Care Standards Tribunal ruled the appeal would stand and the urgent order obtained from magistrates by CSCI would cease to have effect.

Conditions were attached to the reopening

A CSCI spokesman said although the urgent order had been overturned, the tribunal had placed stringent conditions on Active Care Partnership.
They include extra care and nursing staff and specialist staff over the next six months, limiting the number of residents to 19 over the next six months, and frequent inspections by CSCI.
CSCI’s Regional Director for the East, Norwyn Cole, said: “We welcome the fact that the tribunal has imposed stringent conditions on the Active Care Partnership which are designed to safeguard this very vulnerable group of people.
“This acknowledges that there was a serious risk to the residents.
“The commission will closely monitor and inspect the home on a frequent basis.

I think this sounds like a good solution for the residents. Moving everyone wholesale and quickly would be in no-one’s best interest. It does beg a few questions about the way the home was run prior to these incidents (and I am referring more to wider management by a larger scale employer wanting to cut costs rather than the individual home manager in question).

I see that the additional staff are to be provided over six months. I wonder what will be happening after that. In any case, it will be interesting to follow the CSCI reports.

Corners can’t be cut with care standards and services.

4 thoughts on “Alton Centre – a further update

  1. In my previous incarnation as a social worker I was once involved in moving six of “my” previous clients from a residential home that the Council were closing down. The impact on a resident who believes they are in a permanent placement and then is moved away from familiarity and friends is never documented. I conducted my own little survey. Four of my residents were dead within three months and the other two within six months. I am glad they didn’t close the place down though I suspect their card is marked with CSCI – which may not be a bad thing. The trouble is CSCI (or CSSIW here in Wales) is only as good as the Inspector you are allocated ….nuff said!

  2. You’re right that moving is not a good option. I’ve seen it happen before also with some of the closures a few years ago – that’s why I think it’s the best way forward for this home and a hope the eagle eyes of CSCI will be firmly fixed on them (and the additional staff of course – which makes one wonder about staffing levels in the first place and whether cutting costs on staffing is an extremely false economy.. )

  3. My company have offered free training to the Alton Centre in Tissue Viability as we found out that this was the issue CSCI had with this home. This training was offered due to the fact that southern cross are one of our bigger customers and this particular home is local to us, so I thought we could help. The training went down well, but more often than not CSCI have issues with wound care and care planning, where do these homes access this training? do homes realise this training is available? We are here to help and work with homes and csci. Thanks and good luck Alton centre we are always here to help! Chris

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