A CHILDREN’S home has received a damning report after Ofsted found staff had administered a higher dose of a child’s medication than prescribed.

Of Stephens Ark, based on Byng Walk and run by Andover and District Mencap (ADM), inspectors said “there are serious and widespread failures that mean children’s and young people’s welfare is not promoted or safeguarded”. It was rated “inadequate”.

ADM provides short-break residential care for a maximum of four children and young people with learning difficulties and/or physical disabilities. There were no children or young people staying at the establishment during the inspection. It was asked not to take on any children for three weeks while issues were being addressed, but it re-opened this week.

Inspection judgements were based on “the overall experiences and progress of children and young people living in the home”, “how well children and young people are helped and protected” and “the effectiveness of leaders and managers”.

They were deemed inadequate in all areas.

In the report inspectors found medication administration was not always safe, saying: “In one example, staff have been administering a higher dose of a child’s medication than prescribed.

In another area despite a repeated requirement over three previous inspections, the provider had not been seen to install fire doors in a majority of the children’s bedrooms, staff sleep-in room and lounge. The report added: “In the event of a fire, everyone in the property is at risk of significant harm.”

Leaders and management were found to have “poor oversight of the service and a limited understanding of its weaknesses.” Inspectors added the manager had been “blind to its shortfalls”.

However inspectors did find it to have strengths. The report said: “Parents...are very positive about their children’s stays. They say that their children look forward to coming here.”

Andover and District Mencap said it was “very disappointed”. Chris Dixon, CEO, said: “As a provider of this service for 21 years we have prided ourselves on our ability to deliver a much needed, quality, respite service to the families of Andover.

“The report highlights the good standard of care the children receive, however it is evidently clear we have some serious failures within the service and some important improvements to make.”

ADM said all aspects of the house are compliant with the requirements placed upon it by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services. It will be undergoing a full review of the service and making changes to managing and monitoring.