Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

24th August 2016

My care home has just been rated inadequate, what do I do?

Dear Sheila,

To my very great concern my care home has just been rated as inadequate. It has two requires improvement and three inadequates.

I am devastated and have no idea how to move this forward. Can you give me any advice please?


Dear Melissa,

I will do what I can to help.

Don't panic, this is the moment for a clear head and a systematic approach to move your care home forward.

I would always advise someone in your position to ask a third party (probably an experienced Adult Social Care Consultant) to do a full audit of your home. This is not cheap and is at least 2 full days work, but it will give a plan for you to begin to work systematically to turn things around. It would undoubtedly help to get a Health and Safety audit undertaken as soon as possible too.

Once you have the audit and a clear understanding of what you need to do, I would advise you to check out whether or not your policies, procedures and forms are up to date. If they aren't I don't think you will have the time right now to rewrite everything yourself so look for a system that will suit you. I would of course recommend the QCS system, but you must look at the market place before buying.

Having had an audit you will be in a position to prioritise your actions. You need, of course, to first of all be sure your residents are safe so I believe your first actions should relate to safety and would suggest that you should be looking at:

  • Handling of medication
  • Quality of care plans
  • Mental Capacity Act assessments and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard authorisations
  • Staffing levels and dependency levels

This is just a starting point not the full picture, other things may have emerged that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Just a couple of cautions:

  • You cannot do everything at once
  • You cannot do it all yourself

Have a plan, try to stick to it as far as possible and keep clear records of what you are doing. Sign off your action plan as tasks are completed. Involve your staff and give them tasks to do as well, for instance, if activities have been criticised then ask a senior carer to lead on this.

Yours is not the only question I have received about this and I am going to return to your question about once a month for the next few months.

Do let us know how you are getting on.

Best wishes and good luck,


*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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