Anita Ram (69), of Stevenage, started running Millfield Lodge Care Home in Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire, as a sole trader business in the early 1990s. It was incorporated in 2004, but only began formally trading in July 2014.
In April 2017, the home was inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and rated ‘Requires Improvement’ after breaches of regulations relating to the safeguarding of people, their care records, and reporting of incidents to the CQC were discovered.
In July and August of the same year, further, unannounced, inspections were carried out. Inspectors found that Millfield Lodge Care Home Limited was in breach of six regulations under the Health and Social Care Act 2008. At the August inspection the service was rated as inadequate.
They resolved that Anita Ram as director was not a fit and proper person to carry on the service, as she had failed to co-operate with the nursing agency that ran the service in the home, removed records and equipment, and prevented access to people’s finances, among other concerns.
Inspectors also uncovered that not all residents in the home were being safely administered their medication, with discrepancies between the amount of medication in stock and the amounts recorded as having been administered. Anita Ram had also failed to ensure the building met required fire safety standards, meaning residents were at risk.
As a result of these concerns, the CQC applied to the courts to cancel Anita Ram’s registration as a care home provider and close the home. Residents were safely moved from the home on 10 August 2017, and the company ceased trading.
Millfield Lodge Care Home Limited entered Creditors Voluntary Liquidation and liquidators were appointed in September 2017, before it was formally wound up in October.
The liquidator’s report on the insolvency to the Insolvency Service triggered an investigation into the conduct of Anita Ram.
On 30 September 2019, the Secretary of State accepted a four-year disqualification undertaking from her. Effective from 21 October 2019, Anita Ram cannot be involved, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company without permission of the court.
David Brooks, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said:
Care homes provide a vital service to our communities, taking care of some of the most vulnerable members of our society, and so are rightly held to the highest standards.
The Insolvency Service will not hesitate to pursue the disqualification of any director whose conduct while in charge of such a business is assessed to pose a risk to the people under their care.