Care home linked with grandmother's death lifted from special measures

Lincoln House, the care home Margaret Smith was living at, has been lifted out of special measures

Lincoln House, the care home Margaret Smith was living at, has been lifted out of special measures - Credit: Archant

"Tireless work" to address security concerns at a care home where a grandmother died after leaving unescorted has seen it earn a glowing inspection result.

Following the death of 87-year-old Margaret Smith, who went missing from Lincoln House in Swanton Morley in 2021, the home was visited by Care Quality Commission inspectors, and rated as inadequate. She had Alzheimer's and vascular dementia.

Serious concerns were raised around security measures at the home and failures to report serious incidents to health regulators and the local authority - and the home was placed into special measures.

However, just nine months after its inadequate rating was first published, in September 2021, the home is celebrating after decisive action saw it rated as good across the board.

The inspectors found that measures had been taken to improve the security of the home, including fitting it with alarmed, electronic doors and staff being given extra safeguarding training.

Lifting the home out of special measures, the Care Quality Commission inspector wrote: "People said they felt safe at the service. One person told us: 'I feel very safe and comfortable being here. I am very lucky being here'."

Leighann Blyth, operations manager at Lincoln House, said: "I am so proud of the team. In a very short time, the whole team has worked tirelessly to implement the recommendation made by the CQC since the inspection last year and it is fantastic to see that this hard work has paid off.

"This new rating reflects the excellent quality of care we offer at Lincoln House and I would like to thank everybody who has supported the home."

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Nigel Reeve, managing director of Castlemeadow Care, which runs the home, said the provider was delighted with the report.

He said: "We are so pleased that the hard work and dedication of the staff has been recognised.

"I know the whole team at Lincoln House has been determined to provide the highest standards of care and support to our residents and this report is a really positive endorsement of those efforts."

The care home, in Dereham Road, has the capacity to care for 60 residents. However, when the inspection was carried out, it was not at full capacity with 40 people supported at the time.

An inquest into Mrs Smith's death is scheduled to be held in November.