Care home where 18 died due to Covid is hailed by CQC

Burlingham House has been judged outstanding in a CQC inspection category

Burlingham House suffered an outbreak of Covid-19 early in 2021 making it a difficult time for residents, staff and their families. However the CQC has heaped praised on its caring, person-centred ethos which is improving the lives of those who live there and giving peace of mind to their loved-ones, a report says. - Credit: Burlingham House

A care home which lost half its residents to Covid during an outbreak has been praised by inspectors.

Viktor Zak, regional manager for APS Care,  said the report was a boost to staff at Burlingham House, in North Burlingham,  near Norwich, after 18 people died earlier this year.

In the circumstances the watchdog's "good" overall judgement with an "outstanding" ranking for being responsive, was all the more welcome as part of a glowing report.

Mr Zak said there had been a complete change in management since the home was rated as "requires improvement" two years ago.

Under the leadership of Sharon Plane, starting in her first registered manager post at the start of the pandemic, the team had "pulled together" to deliver what some said was the best care they had ever seen.

He praised the stamina and determination of the manager and staff who "lived by" stringent and enhanced measures to stop the spread of Covid.

"Despite these efforts," he said. "The care home went through a very sad period early this year, when an outbreak of Covid-19 hit its residents and staff.

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"The home sadly saw residents passing away and the team being affected badly, too."

He added the judgement was a credit to the team, hailing their "exceptional care with outstanding aspirations".

Inspectors said following a visit in May: "Everyone spoke extremely highly of the person-centred care provided at the home and gave us many examples of the ways in which this had greatly improved people's quality of life.

"People were truly accepted as individuals and staff were highly empathic and understanding; this meant people were very well supported."

Relatives noted the encouragement, support, and care given to their loved ones who were healthy and thriving, meaning they could relax for the first time in years.

Staff were also said to be particularly skilled at supporting people's mental health and "seeing" the person underneath the diagnostic label.

The report gave many examples of staff going "above and beyond" to support residents, including buying flowers for them to give to family members.

Meanwhile, a health professional told inspectors: "I've never been anywhere where I've been quite so impressed." Another said: "I've got nothing but praise for them".

Overall the home was judged to be safe and well-led, receiving the highest possible praise for being "responsive."