Bexhill care home owner slams ‘unfair’ special measures report

Coast Home Care (Whitebriars) owner Kevin Dewhurst and manager Bill
Coast Home Care (Whitebriars) owner Kevin Dewhurst and manager Bill

The owner of a Bexhill care home in special measures disagrees with the ruling claiming the health watchdog does not give enough weight to the quality of residents’ lives.

Coast Home Care (Whitebriars) was put into special measures after being rated as ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who described the home as unsafe.

Whitebriars’ owner Kevin Dewhurst accepted some the inspector’s criticisms but believes the nursing home was unfairly represented with the CQC putting too much emphasis on ‘processes, systems and risk’.

“I do all my training around people’s lives and the lived experience, so while we take the record-keeping, processes and care planning really seriously, we have another area of work we’re very focused on and it doesn’t seem that other area of work gets noticed,” he said.

Mr Dewhurst was astounded when he saw the CQC’s findings months before they were published on July 5, and he tried to contest them but was rebuffed.

The Bedford Avenue nursing home and home care provider was criticised for ‘unsafe’ medicine management, poor leadership and for not fully assessing new staff’s competency by the health watchdog.

But the stack of appraisals from other healthcare professionals, residents’ relatives and members of the public tells a different story in Mr Dewhurst’s eyes.

The home has a full-time team of activity coordinators whose job it is to make sure people are active and having fun, through games or the numerous weekly bus trips.

Mr Dewhurst said his staff are focused on the life experience of their residents and reducing anxieties, especially for people with dementia. But he said the inspectors ‘were not very interested’ in that side.

The CQC did say Whitebriars was caring, but Mr Dewhurst believes the complaints, record-keeping and recruitment issues were blown out of proportion and come across as much worse than he claims they are, potentially damaging the home’s reputation.

Mr Dewhurst, who also owns two other care homes in Hastings, claimed his residents lives would not be improved with better ‘processes’.

The CQC has been contacted for comment.

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