Care home ‘not safe’ says health watchdog'

Date published: 08 November 2018

A  care home for up to 30  elderly people is ‘not safe’ according to a report from the health watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says that Hurstead House has made some significant improvements since it was placed in special measures last year.

But a recent inspection found the home, in Halifax Road, still requires improvement as problems remain around risks to people’s health, safety and well-being.

Officials also said that infection control issues at the Sevaline Care Homes-run establishment were being overlooked.

The report highlights how potential risks to residents were not always identified when their health or circumstances changed.

It says: “For example, one person had recently fractured their femur, meaning that they were unable to walk independently.

“However, their risk assessment, which had been reviewed since the person broke their leg did not reflect this change in need, and stated that the person was independently mobile.

“This was not the case, and could lead to the wrong care and support being provided.”

And the document also points out continuing problems with cleanliness and infection-control identified during the visit.

It adds: “On the first day of our inspection we ran the hot taps from a number of sinks throughout the building but in each case the water did not warm up and remained cold.

“Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines on infection control state that surfaces should be cleaned using hot water and appropriate detergent.

“Without hot water the service could not ensure the environment could be kept clean. We reported this to the registered manager and provider, who arranged for the hot water supply to be fixed.”

Inspectors acknowledge that managers took ‘immediate action to make good and rectify the issues’ once they were pointed out.

But the report adds: “However, their actions were reactive. Good oversight and management of day-to-day environmental issues would have identified these issues as they arose."

It goes on to recommended that measures are put in place to ‘identify and respond to risk’.

And it also suggests implementing early warning systems to ensure the premises are ‘clean, suitable for the purpose for which they are being used and properly maintained’.

However despite an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’ the report does include praise for Hurstead House, which it describes as ‘homely and welcoming’.

It was also found to be ‘good’ at responding to service-users needs.

The reports says: “At this inspection we saw that the registered managers had worked to develop a caring ethos, and without exception, residents and relatives felt the care that they received was person centred, kind and compassionate.”

Among comments given to inspectors during their visit include one service user who said: “It's cracking here: staff are kind, they are my friends.”

Meanwhile, another resident told officials: “Everything is good about this place; I’m happy I came,” while a visitor added: “Genuine affection and care flowing between residents and staff.”

Hurstead House has been contacted for a comment by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter

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