THE owner of a failing Stourbridge care home for adults with learning disabilities says an ‘inadequate’ rating handed out by a watchdog is ‘a hiccup’ that will be fixed.

Safeharbour, on 260 Hagley Road, Pedmore, has been put in ‘special measures’ by the Care Quality Commission after an unannounced inspection which was prompted by an allegation of abuse.

It has six months to improve or it could be shut down – but will be kept under review in the meantime and could, if needed, said the CQC, be escalated to ‘urgent enforcement action’

According to its website, Safeharbour ‘offers a needs-led approach to care for adults with learning difficulties and complex needs centred around the autistic spectrum’.

In the five categories that make up the inspection, Safeharbour was classed as ‘inadequate’ in two – safety and leadership – and ‘requires improvement’ in the other three fields of effectiveness, care and responsiveness.

However, owner and managing director Geoffrey Copeland says the issues are management-related and that wheels are already in motion to ensure the home regains its previous ‘good’ rating.

Mr Copeland, who owns two other homes, one further down the Hagley Road and another in Droitwich, told the News: “The problem lies around management issues.

“You can’t drop from four green stars to two reds and three yellows without something being wrong and the issues are being addressed. We have a new manager and a new team leader in the pipeline.

“It’s a hiccup which we will be rectifying. We are dealing with very, very vulnerable people and you have to be seen to be doing everything correctly.

“But the care is second to none and the 120 staff I have across the homes are superb in what is not an easy job.

“I will be having the home inspected outside of the CQC and getting someone to come in and give me a monthly report for the next 12 months so that I know whatever needs rectifying will be rectified.

“I suspect the CQC will be back in four months and I hope we will get all green flashing lights again. I am working very closely with the authorities in order to do that.”

Among a host of criticisms in the CQC report were a failure to report accidents, restrictions on activities that residents could undertake and a lack of good medication monitoring.

In its summary of the inspection, the CQC stated: “People were not fully protected from harm and abuse. Accidents and incidents had taken place and had not been reported to the appropriate authorities.

“Restrictions were in place which significantly limited people’s choice and control regarding their participation in daily activities.”

The report did praise Safeharbour staff for supporting a healthy diet and being aware of residents’ dietary needs, and also said workers were described as ‘kind and caring’.

It added: “Relatives were confident that if they raised a complaint, it would be dealt with appropriately.”

However, the inspection raised concerns about the leadership at the care home, which will be inspected again within six months, with ‘significant improvements within this timeframe’ expected to be made.

The care home, which was previously rated ‘good’ in November 2016, had five people living there at the time of inspection.