Care firm to pay £200k over Covid response which failed residents at Kettering home

Temple Court care home in Kettering, pictured in 2018. It has since been closed down.
Credit: Google
The CQC found a catalogue of failures at Temple Court Credit: Google

A care provider that “catastrophically let down” care home residents at the peak of the Covid pandemic has been ordered to pay more than £200,000 by a court.

Amicura Ltd ran Temple Court Care Home in Kettering in Northamptonshire until it closed it down after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated it inadequate in May 2020.

As coronavirus tore through the country between late February 2020 and early April 2020, the number of people transferred into the Albert Street home increased from 25 to 51.

But the provider had not adequately assessed the risk of people living there and there was no manager or assistant manager in place, the court heard.

All responsibility was given to a senior carer who was left in charge, with only “limited support” from the company, the CQC said.

The regulator said the company increased the number of residents “without properly assessing the impact that such an increase would have on the health and safety of everyone living there” and how they were moved around the home.

It was ordered to pay a total of £200,181 at Northampton Magistrates’ Court, made up of a £120,000 fine, the CQC’s costs of £80,000 and an £181 victim surcharge.

The CQC had rated the home as requiring improvement in 2019 but found a catalogue of failures months later.

Residents had fallen, with some needing hospital treatment, but there had been no action to prevent other falls happening in the future.

Some residents’ wounds had been dressed inappropriately and had led to infections and parts of the home were dirty.

In one case, the regulator said residents were “subjected to degrading treatment”, with one “covered in dried faeces” for hours.

Ros Sanderson, the CQC’s deputy director of enforcement, said: “The people living at Temple Court Care Home were catastrophically let down by the care provider’s poor systems and processes.

“I would hope this prosecution reminds all care providers they must always ensure people’s safety and manage risks to their wellbeing.

“The majority of care providers do an excellent job but when they don’t, we can and will take action to hold providers to account and protect people.”

A Temple Court spokesman said the company fully accepted the court's sentence and apologised "unreservedly everyone affected by the failures of our systems and processes".

They said they had learned lessons and made improvements, as well as trying to understand why standards had dropped at a home that had previously been "very much fit for purpose".

The spokesman added: "With the benefit of hindsight, we recognise now that whilst we felt at the time we were acting in the national interest and supporting the NHS by accepting patients discharged from hospitals into care homes under government policy at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, this actually placed incredible strain on our team – leaving many of them overwhelmed, exhausted and themselves ill with the virus.

“This, together with the rapid rate of discharges from hospitals to the home, had a significant and detrimental effect on the running of the home and the care provided to our residents.

“These factors were unprecedented, but that does not excuse what happened and we know we must do better in the future. We are fully committed to our journey of continuous improvement and remain determined to deliver the best possible care for every resident.”

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