Wembley care home investigated after residents found “at risk of financial abuse”

Pettsgrove Care home in Wembley is under investigation and has been branded "not safe" by CQC inspec

Pettsgrove Care home in Wembley is under investigation and has been branded "not safe" by CQC inspectors (Pic: Google StreetView) - Credit: Archant

A care home in Wembley is being investigated after inspectors found residents with learning disabilities were at risk of being ‘financially abused’.

Inspectors for the Care Quality Commision found Pettsgrove care home in Pettsgtove Avenue was ‘not safe’ and graded it as ‘requires improvement’ overall after inspectors were told there was a serious safeguarding investigation into alleged financial abuse of people in the home.

Inspectors at the unannounced visit in July this year also found there were not sufficient plans in place to protect residents in the event of emergencies such as a fire.

The report, published on November 2, lists a catalogue of safeguarding concerns and breaches of legal care requirements relating to safekeeping of money on behalf of four residents with learning difficulties.

At the time of the investigation, inspectors found local authorities were in the process of taking responsibility for money that had been managed by staff at the home as residents did not have “capacity to give their consent”.

There was also evidence that residents’ money tins had not been properly checked.

After reviewing records and procedures for handling of money at the home, the CQC found “people were at risk of financial abuse”.

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The report states: “There were no adequate systems in place for the safe handling of their money. The provider did not ensure there were safeguards in place to protect people’s financial interests.

“The service was not safe. There was a current serious safeguarding investigation into the alleged financial abuse of people using the service. There were handover arrangements to address this but even here we found shortfalls.”

Inspectors found the home to be ‘inadequate’ when assessing the safety of the service provided.

However, inspectors did find the home was providing a responsive service to residents and rated it ‘good’ in this category while it was given ‘requires improvement’ status for all three of the ‘caring’ and ‘effectiveness’ and ‘well-led’ categories.

With regard to the safeguarding investigation into alleged financial abuse, the report goes on to state the CQC is: “considering the appropriate regulatory response to resolve the serious issues we found in respect of this regulation.”

Deborah Whittaker, duty manager at Pettsgrove Care Home said: “It is under investigation and we disagree with whatever has been has been written in the CQC report.

“We appealed before they published the report and we disagree with the investigation but there’s nothing you can do once they’ve decided to write it.

“If somebody makes an allegation that allegation has to be investigated.”

The CQC has outlined a number of legal breaches including failure to “protect people from the risk of harm in respect of theft, misuse or misappropriation of money” and is asking managers to send them a report outlining their plan to address the issues raised.

The home could face further enforcement action unless it addresses the allegations.