‘Safe’ report welcomed

St Stephen's Nursing Home, in Blackpool, has been found to be "safe" by inspectors.
St Stephen's Nursing Home, in Blackpool, has been found to be "safe" by inspectors.
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Bosses at a Blackpool care home that was put on “trial by social media” when one of its residents fell during the night have today welcomed the findings of a new report.

The health watchdog found St Stephen’s Nursing Home, in North Shore, was “safe” following an unannounced inspection last month.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) investigators spent two days in the home, on St Stephen’s Road, in response to complaints from relatives of a resident who suffered bruising when she fell.

A Facebook post showing Gladys Millard’s injuries went viral, prompting a joint investigation by the CQC, police – who have since ruled out foul play – and Blackpool Council.

The Gazette reported last month that the home was at the centre of a social media storm after photos of the 89-year-old’s injuries were shared online thousands of times. An alarm that should have alerted staff to the fall did not activate - but bosses, who hit out at the “unfair” criticism they have faced online, say it was working.

Police later found no evidence of any wrongdoing and the CQC has now concluded its own investigation after finding no cause for concern.

The report, which focused on the safety of residents at the home and not the incident last month, said: “During our inspection, the provider and registered manager were engaging with other organisations in relation to the concerns raised.

“Despite the difficult circumstances, the management team work with the inspection team in an open and transparent way.”

The report quotes a relative who told investigators: “I’ve heard about the recent concerns. In my experience, out of 300 people’s comments you’ll get one negative one. That is certainly not my experience.”

Last month’s inspection followed a routine unannounced visit in October 2014 that rated the home “good” in all five inspection categories.

Blackpool Council said its investigation had concluded and found no safety issues.

A spokesman for the home said: “Our overriding priority at St Stephen’s is to provide a safe and secure environment and one in which the welfare and dignity of all residents is of utmost importance.

“The management and staff at St Stephen’s therefore welcome the CQC report, which clearly states that our home is a safe and caring place for residents.”

In a statement issued shortly after the incident, on September 6, bosses at St Stephen’s, said it was “unfair to face trial by social media without any right to reply.”