Managing risk with care home operator Discovery Care
Andrew Isiakpere operates Discovery Care and is the owner of several care homes in the south east of the UK. He contacted us the first time in July 2021 about Tulipa House, after finding our details on the internet. This particular care home had a ‘inadequate’ rating from the CQC and his incumbent insurer weren’t willing to offer new policy terms. He already had an extension to his policy, which was just about to end and unless he could find cover at the right level and fast, he faced potentially having to close the care home – making this a very stressful time.
An inadequate rating will have an effect on insurance availability. Not all insurers are willing to provide terms for care facilities with this rating. Typically premiums will be higher and restrictions are often put in place such as a limit on the number of service users (or residents) that the facility can take on. As insurance is a legal requirement for care homes, without it, the care home cannot continue to operate, which means staff lose their jobs and residents need to be found alternative accommodation.
At Barnes, we have built relationships with an extensive panel of insurers, who specialise in care home policies, and which include some that will offer terms to care homes with an inadequate or requires improvement rating, and this is just what Andrew needed.
We worked quickly with our insurer partners to find the right cover for Tulipa House, and by arranging this swiftly and efficiently, effectively saved the care home from closure. This then allowed Andrew to work on the action plan provided by the CQC, to bring the care home up to an improved rating.
Working together to improve the care home rating and insurance terms
In March this year, Andrew asked us to help him find the right policy for Roxborough House, another of the care homes in his portfolio. He was unhappy with his current provider and wanted to move the insurance across to us at Barnes because of the excellent service he received previously. This care facility also had an inadequate rating.
Andrew had been working with the CQC to create an action plan, which we had to share with potential insurers. They needed to be able to see evidence of what work was being planned and by when, and what had already been carried out. Making sure this action plan was up to date and adhered to was pivotal in arranging the insurance.
The plan for Roxborough House has included a number significant improvements, which have had positive effects on the business and for everyone connected to it. Following the identification of poor emergency access in the event of a disaster, such as a fire or flood at the premises, Andrew has installed a purpose built ramp at the rear of the property to facilitate the evacuation of residents. This £75,000 investment was a clear indication to the CQC, and his insurance provider, that the business is serious when it comes to making improvements and is working hard to improve its care home rating.
A digital care management system has also been installed, which Andrew says was a watershed moment. The implementation involved comprehensive staff training to ensure that everyone was competent and able to use the systems effectively and efficiently.
Management performance was also a key issue at the business and following an in-depth review, changes were made to ensure that the right people were in the right places. A recent employment drive brought new, qualified people into the care home, who have all been successfully inducted into the business. The new team is dedicated to providing the high quality care that Andrew is striving to provide to residents.
Securing robust insurance for peace of mind
We are really pleased that we have been able to help Andrew get the cover he needed for both facilities, with an insurer that is trusted and will be there should anything unexpected happen. Having comprehensive insurance in place has brought him, his staff and of course his residents peace of mind.
He has the time to keep improving care standards so that when the CQC reinspect, he will be looking for an improved rating. Better ratings may mean the removal of any restrictions on policy terms and of course are likely to result in reduced premiums.
Andrew’s reputation for turning his care homes around in such a short space of time has encouraged his peers in a similar situation, to contact him for advice for their own care homes.
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If you would like to discuss the risks that your care home is facing, or review your current levels of insurance, we would be more than happy to help. You can speak to one of our experienced advisers on 01480 272727 or you can send an email to enquiries@barnesinsurancebroker and we’ll be in touch.