‘Neglected’ boy left without bath or change of clothes for FOUR MONTHS at failed children’s home


A young boy went for four months without taking a bath, having a home-cooked meal or changing his clothes at a home for vulnerable children in Bolton, inspectors say.

The home was blasted as ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted, with the watchdog listing a series of serious failings that left children at risk.

On one bizarre occasion, inspectors say a child was put in harm’s way by staff ‘carrying out cardiac pulmonary resuscitation on them when this was not necessary’.

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And, in a separate incident, staff at the home did not enter a child’s bedroom for four months ‘despite there being evidence of flies and a pungent smell coming from the room and spreading throughout the home’.

The home, which the MEN is not naming in order to ensure the anonymity of the children, has had its registration with Ofsted revoked, according to the report.

A spokesperson for Achieve, the firm which operates the children’s home, said staff would work with Bolton council to investigate the incidents in Ofted’s report.

In the inspection report, which covers visits on January 5 and 6 this year, Ofsted inspectors Chris Scully and Michelle Edge wrote: “The registered manager and staff have failed to meet the basic care needs of children.

“One child has been significantly neglected and he has not bathed, changed his clothes or been provided with a home-cooked meal since he moved into the home in September 2021.”

Adding: “Staff are not effective in supporting children’s health and well-being. The registered manager and staff fail to take action when children refuse to take their medication.”

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Another issue listed in the report involved a child who refused to leave the home during fire drills for over three months. Despite knowing this, staff failed to put systems in place to help the child in an emergency.

The report added: “Currently, only two members of staff hold a childcare qualification; one of these is the registered manager.

“The staff team is very inexperienced to care for two very complex children. Staff have not been supported by the manager to safely care for these children.”

In response to the damning findings, Bolton councillor Adele Warren said the children’s home in question was an example of a wider problem.

The company managing the home say they will work with Bolton council to investigate the problems

“The report is deeply shocking and upsetting. Children who have been through so much already shouldn’t have to go through that as well in a location which is supposed to be safe and secure,” she explained.

“I appealed it at the planning committee and it was declined but unfortunately they then applied for a certificate of lawful development, which there’s no recourse to object to. I did write to Ofsted and asked them not to grant registration but unfortunately they did.

“It’s a difficult subject because these are extremely vulnerable children and you have to try and find a balance between trying to do the right thing for everybody but in Bolton we have so many private children’s homes and only 11 percent of the children placed there are local children.

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“This puts a massive pressure on the availability of homes for our own children and I believe it’s a national scandal what’s happening in the private care home sector and I think a lot of people are just in it to make money. Some children’s placements are £ 4,000 per week so some organizations are making a hell of a lot of money on the back of vulnerable children.

“These children deserve the best and to not even have adults that are adequately trained to look after them, it’s just not good enough.”

A spokesperson for Achieve said: “We have voluntarily revoked our registration after the incident that occurred in our care home and we are working with the Local Authority to investigate it further.”

A Bolton council spokesperson said the home had undergone ‘due diligence and all the appropriate checks’ to be registered with Ofsted initially and that regular independent visits took place.

They added: “Bolton Council are working with Ofsted, health partners, and the provider to review the service that was provided at the home and consider what could have been done differently to inform practice.

“Children placed in the home were removed as soon as concerns were raised, and alternative placements were sourced within 24 hours.

“This case demonstrates a broader national issue of sufficiency, quality and capacity within the care system, especially as children with complex needs are discharged from hospital settings at short notice due to a reduced number of hospital beds.

“Like other local authorities, we are working with national partners, and the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, to address this problem and ensure there is a more robust approach to registering providers.

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“There is also a need to enhance the monitoring of the quality of placements for children on a regular basis.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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