New director says changes at Heron House, March, will see care home fly out of trouble

Heron House Care Home, March. Left: Julie Fieldman and Trudi McPhail,

Heron House Care Home, March. Left: Julie Fieldman and Trudi McPhail, - Credit: Archant

Changes are afoot at a March care home following a raft of complaints by relatives and a poor inspection report.

Heron House Care Home, March.

Heron House Care Home, March. - Credit: Archant

Heron House and Heron Court has also put a block on new admissions until the issues are resolved amid a shake-up of management and staffing.

Relatives of the 93 residents, who previously complained about how their loved ones were looked after, have been assured that changes will be made, but it will not be a “quick fix”.

Failure to monitor clients, including whether or not they had enough to drink, were among the complaints levied by relatives who were also angry at the lack of response from the home’s previous management.

Sam Jacob, director of operations for Four Seasons Health care, which runs the home in Coronation Close, told a meeting of concerned residents on Monday that she had given newly appointed manager Julie Fieldman just three months to make changes.

She also announced the home, which includes a dementia unit, would be split into two — subject to approval by the Care Quality Commission — each with its own manager and administrator.

Mrs Jacob, who has been in post since June, admitted there were major problems with the standard of care currently at the home, which she blamed on poor leadership and management.

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Mrs Fieldman has been drafted in from one of Four Seasons’ other homes, which has received glowing reports from Care Quality Commission inspectors.

Mrs Jacob said the high number of agency staff had contributed to failing standards of care and said that a major recruitment drive was well under way, with nine new carers set to start in the next few weeks.

Further recruitment for nine more is ongoing.

Mrs Jacob said: “It is difficult to recruit good nursing staff, which is why I am offering really good pay to hopefully attract the right candidates.

“I can’t work miracles, it is not going to be a quick fix. We need to embed a new culture of leadership in the home and that is going to take time.”