Vulnerable care home residents’ safety was put at risk by lax security measures, health watchdog finds

Date published: 03 December 2020

Vulnerable care home residents’ safety was put at risk by lax security measures, according to a report from the health watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited Meavy View Retirement Home, in Rochdale, after the local authority raised concerns over people’s safety.

It has now ordered the Milkstone Road facility to improve after finding it was in breach of regulations relating to safe care and good governance.

Officials found that staff were experienced, caring and conscientious, and residents and families were both happy with the care being provided.

However, the inspection report says the Milkstone Road home – which can accommodate up to 32 adults and specialises in dementia care – was not always secure. 

“There had been incidents where vulnerable residents had left the building several times unaccompanied which put their safety at risk,” it states.

“At the rear of the property we found the property was still unsecured, and nothing had been done to protect vulnerable people from leaving the service.” 

The CQC did however later receive evidence that the fencing had been secured.

The inspection report goes on to describe how one ‘inappropriately placed’ resident had put themselves at ‘severe risk attempting to escape from the home’.

Hourly checks were put in place and the individual was moved to a downstairs room, but staff were not trained to support the person’s mental health effectively.

The regulator raised concerns about the incident with the home, stressing the importance of ensuring it was able to safely meet people’s needs before admitting them.

Officials also noted that a serious incident had not been prevented or reported to the CQC – potentially putting the person at ‘an increased risk of self harm’.

However, there was no evidence of anyone coming to harm at the home.

The report adds: “There was no evidence seen to suggest that lessons had been learned, from incidents arising at the service. Where individuals had encountered falls resulting in serious injury, measures were not always put in place to mitigate the risk and prevent this from happening again.”

A problem with the hot water supply in some bedrooms had also led to staff placing themselves at risk while carrying it around the building.

There was also strong criticism of leadership at the home, which was rated as ‘requires improvement’.

The report states: “We found significant issues with the management of risk within the home.

“The provider did not have a clear understanding of regulatory requirements and risks and had not been proactive in ensuring preventative measures were in place in response to incidents and maintenance issues.”

It adds that there was ‘little oversight of the service’ and the registered manager did not always ensure safeguarding procedures were followed.

Infection control procedures were also not as robust as they could have been and policies had not been updated in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Inspectors also noted ‘some shortfalls’ in monitoring systems.

The report adds: “Audits were taking place but they were not robust enough to pick up the issues that we found on inspection.”

Concerns about safeguarding at the home are also currently being investigated by Rochdale council.

Meavy View Retirement Home has been contacted for comment.

Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter

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