Care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has released another 18 reports into learning disability residential facilities and found that only a third were fully compliant with the 2 essential standards it investigated.

The reports are the sixth batch to be released, as part of the CQC's programme of 150 unannounced inspections of learning disability hospitals and care homes. Inspections focused on 2 outcomes relating to the Government's essential standards of quality and safety: the care and welfare of people who use services, and safeguarding people who use services, from abuse. The CQC inspectors found that only 6 facilities were fully compliant with both standards, although 7 more raised minor concerns.  In relation to the care and welfare outcome, the CQC had minor concerns about 7 facilities, moderate concerns about 4 and a major concern about one. In relation to safeguarding, the CQC found 10 locations compliant, had minor concerns with 5, a moderate concern with one and major concerns with 2.

The 18 facilities inspected comprised 8 NHS, 4 independent health care and 6 adult social care locations. Inspectors reported major concerns against both outcomes at Harkstead Barn in Ipswich, run by United Response, and a major and a moderate concern at Shear Meadow in Hemel Hempstead, run by Cambrian Learning Disabilities Ltd. At Harkstead Barn, inspectors found that care plans and health action plans were not being reviewed or updated to reflect changes in people's needs. They also found that systems to prevent and identify abuse were inadequate. The main concern at Shear Meadow was that, although procedures were in place to prevent and identify abuse, they were not always followed. There were risks to the safety and wellbeing of people receiving support as the number of restraints used were not monitored or analysed. All the services, where concerns are identified, have to tell the CQC how and when they will improve.

Those failing to meet essential standards could face enforcement action by the regulator if improvements are not made.

The CQC will publish a national report based on the findings from all 150 reports later in the year. To view the individual inspection reports, click here.