A CARE home that was placed in special measures after being rocked by a murder and staff misconduct has now been rated ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Sowerby House near Thirsk hit the headlines in 2015 when resident David Paterson was murdered by his regular visitor Heather Davidson who was later jailed for life.

Further controversy hit when a nurse in charge of around 35 residents was found to have slept on the night shift.

This verdict was reached at a hearing held by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) last year, relating to incidents in 2014 and 2015 when the home was run by Orchard Care Homes.

In December 2016 the home was placed in special measures and conditions were criticised at an inquest held last year into the death of three residents.

In April 2017, the home was graded as requiring improvement.

Now, following two unannounced inspections this year and under new ownership, Sowerby House has been graded as ‘good’ overall by the CQC.

The inspectors’ report read: “People who used the service told us staff were happy, caring and wanted to make sure they felt well looked after.

“Staff supported people to maintain their privacy and dignity.

“Staff helped people to make decisions.

“They offered people choices, listened to them and respected their decisions.”

Katie Hodgson, who became the manager of Sowerby House in January, said: “We are incredibly pleased to receive the ‘good’ rating from the CQC and are delighted to read the lovely comments in the report.

“The team has worked exceptionally hard, and we are confident we will maintain this rating and build on it.

“We will not be resting on our laurels, and I am confident we will receive ‘good’ in all five areas of the report at our next inspection.”

The one area that did not score a ‘good’ rating was ‘safety’.

The inspectors deemed that the home requires improvement in this area, with the report noting: “The service was not always safe.

“Improvements were needed to ensure medicines were managed safely.”

However it continued by saying that residents told inspectors they felt safe living at Sowerby House and the environment was clean, with staff following best practice.

Sowerby House is managed by Healthcare Management Solutions and provides residential care for up to 51 older people.