Care watchdog says Birmingham home still 'requires improvement'

Leaders of Andrew Cohen House claim 'things are looking up' despite further criticism from the Care Quality Commission


Birmingham’s Jewish residential home has received another critical report from the Care Quality Commission, although the regulator acknowledged “improvements” in key areas and described the home as “no longer in breach of regulations”.

The newly released report follows an inspection of Andrew Cohen House in June. It found the home to require improvement overall and in three of the five inspection categories — safety, effectiveness and being well-led. It was graded good in terms of caring and responsiveness. The ratings replicated those from the CQC’s November 2016 inspection.

In its summary, the watchdog said progress had been made in safety and leadership.“However, further improvements were still required.”

Estelle Rowe, director of Birmingham Jewish Community Care, believes “things are looking up.

“We were informally told that we were very close to getting a good grade in the safe category,” she said.

“The CQC inspector on the day did say she had seen lots of ‘loveliness’ around the home.”

As for the financial situation, Mrs Rowe said “care funding isn’t just a Jewish issue. It is basically in national crisis.”

Andrew Cohen House accepts both privately funded residents and those financed by a local authority.

There are currently 55 residents, a third of whom are Jewish. Thirty-four are council funded. There are an additional 30 people, all Jewish, in the sheltered accommodation associated with the home.

According to Mrs Rowe, the home loses “£300 per week, per resident” for those council supported. “Our fundraising is aimed to cover shortfalls but also to fund developments such as improving our facilities and care for those living with dementia.” It also financed activities for the wider community “such as our new weekly singing group and a monthly dementia café run in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Society.

“We put on a range of fundraising events,” Mrs Rowe added.

“In September, just before the chagim, we are having a sponsored spring bulb-planting. We’re having a charity auction in October. We’ll also send out a Rosh Hashanah appeal.

“The fundraising is essential. It is a challenge for a diminishing community but we do what we possibly can.”

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