Children left at significant risk in ‘inadequate’ Sefton care home

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Children were placed at “significant risk” in a Sefton care home rated as “inadequate” by Ofsted.

Westlea House in Formby, which is run by Eastfield Group, was served with six improvement notices after an inspection carried out last month found the safety, emotional well-being and needs of children in its care were not being adequately met.

Inspectors noted one situation where a child with a serious medical condition was not provided with the medicine they needed.

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One child was inappropriately deprived of their liberty while another was exposed to “unknown substances” while at the home and was left at risk of exploitation due to a failure in staff planning and practices.

The report also states that a lack of curiosity by staff and management left children unstimulated and spending “a lot of time in their rooms.”

The home, which houses seven children with social, emotional and mental health needs, was previously assessed as “good” in its last three inspections.

However, inspectors noted a series of failings in terms of management, with protocols not being followed, adequate training not being carried out, inappropriate record keeping and problems with the way complaints were dealt with.

Referring to some of the records kept at the home, inspectors said: “Children’s records contain judgemental statements, and they are not accessible to them.

“The manager and the adults caring for children are not always reflective about children’s difficulties, which has created a lack of empathy for some children.

“This adds to children’s feelings of low self-esteem and no self-worth.”

The report notes that some changes were made immediately following the October visit to make the home safe, with six notices of improvement issued by Ofsted, with a deadline to be addressed of December 12.

Eastfield Group was contacted for comment.

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