A Special Report By Eileen Chubb

Copyright February 2016





The below news story highlights some of the horrors reported by a Whistle-blower who worked as a cleaner at one of the three homes owned by Smallwood Care Homes. This Whistle-blower has since left.



Thalwell Grange.WA4 3JJ


However just 16 weeks earlier in March 2015 the home was inspected under the CQCs new tough regime and rated good in every area. The report highlighted the following areas in particular.

The home was safe as all required safety checks were done.

The rota said the right number of staff with the right skills were available.

The home was clean and had a 5 Star food hygiene rating,

There were good activities.

Care plans were good and up to date.


Inspection report July and September 2015.

This inspection only took place after a whistle-blower reported concerns to the local authority.

The home is now placed in special measures and rated Inadequate.

Its Dirty, Squalid and dangerous.

One person was found alone, locked in a small area, was at high risk of falls, had no way to call for help and had access to scalding water and hot surfaces and a window that was unsafe.

Some areas of the home had no heating or hot water and staff boiled kettles to wash some people.

Other areas had boiling hot water and people could have suffered serious scalding even washing their hands. This could easily have resulted in someone suffering life threatening burns had people being given a bath but this harm was only averted by the fact that people were left dirty, unkempt, neglected with long dirty fingernails.

People were not weighed as the scales were broken, one person was found to have lost 8lb in 11 days and no further action was taken.

Care plans were found to be totally inadequate.

There were not enough staff to care for people.

Call bells were not working.

Windows were broken.

Blinds were filthy and had fallen on the floor.

Sinks ingrained with faeces.

Bedrooms were dirty and smelt.

A nurse walked passed a person who had spilt their drink and who was struggling to get out of their chair.

One person was found to have had two baths in 4 weeks and after one bath needed hospital treatment for injuries sustained from falling from the bath hoist.


This home was only inspected because a whistle-blower came forward. Yet 16 weeks earlier the home was judged good by the CQC. Even if the care in a home had gone downhill rapidly it does not explain how no heating, scalding water or no hot water, broken and dangerous windows and ingrained filth was not picked up on.


The owner has Three homes in total.


Cale Green SK3 8HZ


Rated Good in all five areas in August 2014


April 2015 Inadequate.

Dirty Squalid dangerous

Unregistered nurses

Employment checks not carried out

Care plans a mess

No staff

No Care





Last inspected in August 2014 when a whistle-blower contacted the CQC to report concerns about staffing levels, these concerns were not upheld by the CQC based on evidence that amounts to the home say so that there are enough staff.

I will do an update on Firbank when CQC publish their next report and see how many people have suffered since that whistle-blower tried to raise the alarm in vain.



Eileen chubb