August 28, 2011

UK: Home is slammed over care of elderly

BOLTON, Manchester / The Bolton News / August 27, 2011

A CARE home has been threatened with closure unless it makes “rapid” improvements.

Inspectors for watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said they had major concerns over how elderly residents were being looked after at St Catherine’s Care Home in Horwich.

Medical records at the home, in Queen Street, were not secure, and there were significant gaps in safety procedures and the care of residents’ with dementia, inspectors said.

NHS Bolton and Bolton Council have both immediately suspended all new placements at the home.

Sue McMillan, Regional Director for CQC in the North West, said: “The care at St Catherine’s is nowhere near good enough.

“The law says these essential standards are what everyone should be able to expect when they receive care.

“If we do not see rapid evidence of improvement, we are likely to take enforcement action to protect the safety and welfare of people.”

Action the CQC can take includes shutting a service, fining a home up to £50,000, or taking the company to court.

The report, which follows a July inspection, found there were “significant gaps” in care standards and practices in supporting people suffering from dementia.

There were also “major concerns” over food and drink at the home, with residents’ dietary needs not being met, leaving them at risk of malnutrition and dehydration.

Inspectors found staff were unsure of what residents on the dementia unit had eaten. Records were not kept for food and fluid intake.

There were significant gaps in the quality and security of residents’ medical records and personal information as well.

The report said the current care home manager had been in the job for six weeks when the inspection was carried out.

There were also major concerns with cleanliness — inspectors found congealed hair in the sinks of some bedrooms, no soap or towels in some rooms and a heavily soiled dressing gown left in a wardrobe alongside other clothes in one room.

Bolton Council’s director of Adult Services, John Rutherford, said: “We are concerned at the findings of the inspection.

“The council currently funds 22 placements at St Catherine’s, of which 10 are in residensignifitial care and 12 in nursing care funded with NHS Bolton.

“The care and safety of all our vulnerable residents is a priority for the council and we will work with the home and CQC to ensure standards are of an acceptable quality for those residents.”

St Catherine’s is a privately owned care home catering for a maximum of 61 residents.

Run by national care company Four Seasons Care Homes, the home looks after the elderly, people with dementia and those with physical disabilities.

The home’s previous inspection, two years ago, was positive and St Catherine’s received a “two-star good” rating.

A spokesman for Four Seasons Care Homes said: “We regret that in this instance the quality of care provided in St Catherine’s Care Home fell short of the standards we usually deliver.

“We accept the criticisms of the CQC inspectors and are addressing them.”

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