Response to CQC reports on Gate House and Eastry Villas

Statement updated 19 March 2021

Eddie Coombes, CEO, Optima Care, said:

The alleged behaviour of certain staff highlighted in the CQC reports on Gate House and Eastry Villas is completely unacceptable.

We have already taken urgent steps to investigate the issues raised in the two reports to ensure that incidents like this can never happen again.

We have suspended all staff accused of inadequate and unacceptable conduct, pending a full and independent investigation. We will finalise the outcome of that investigation shortly.  We have also started to work on a longer action plan to address every one of the concerns highlighted by the CQC. In the meantime, neither Gate House nor Eastry Villas will run as a service.

The same care homes were rated ‘Good’ by the CQC on their last inspections in 2018 and 2019. We firmly believe that the latest ratings are due to a breakdown of management within those two homes. We also believe that the two reports are in no way indicative of the care that we as an organisation are committed to providing.

I would like to apologise to the residents and also their families. I appreciate that the publication of these reports may have caused them distress. We know we now have work to do to rebuild the trust of both residents and their families.

The people we support are our number one priority and we are working closely with CQC to address their concerns. We will also ensure as open and transparent an investigation as possible, working closely with key stakeholders such as the Local Authority.

Notes to journalists

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